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Consensus in JD–U over merger with RJD

Pat, January 3: A consensus emerged on Saturday in Bihar’s ruling JD–U over the party’s merger with the RJD of Lalu Prasad to counter the BJP in state assembly polls later this year. "A consensus has emerged in the JD–U political advisory committee in its meeting Saturday for the party’s merger with the RJD to counter the BJP…," JD–U state president Vashisht rayan Singh told the media here.

The committee meeting at the state party headquarters here was attended by former Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Singh and most of the senior party leaders including ministers and MPs to discuss and filise the party’s strategy for the merger of the Jata Dal–United (JD–U) and the Rashtriya Jata Dal (RJD).

"The JD–U and the RJD merger is definite and certain, it will take place soon. But now I cannot tell the date of its formal announcement," Singh said when asked if the merger will take place on Makar Sankranti on January 14. Both Lalu and Nitish have also indicated merger. Referring to the Bharatiya Jata Party (BJP) allegations that jungle raj–2 will come if the JD–U and the RJD merged and won the next assembly election in Bihar, Nitish had said on Friday: "There will be no return to jungle raj…I will be in total command of the state of affairs after the next assembly election in Bihar." Lalu had said that the BJP was feeling intimidated by the combined vote share of the RJD and the JD–U and was hell bent on instilling fear in the minds of the people to find a way to divert attention from an impending rout in the next assembly polls. Responding to the reports of the the RJD–JD(U) merger, BJP’s party incharge in the state, Bhupendra Yadav Saturday said here that it was not a challenge for the BJP in the assembly polls. Bhupendra Yadav, who is a BJP Rajya Sabha MP, said that there will be no impact of the likely merger of the JD–U and RJD. "The BJP is confident of its victory in the next Bihar assembly polls. The NDA led by the BJP will form the next government in the state," he said. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita

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