PATNA: The RJD leaders, who were conspicuous by their absence, during the recent moves to unite the Janata Parivar indicated that socialist stalwarts Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad were not on the same page in national politics, even though they had forged a grand alliance in Bihar.
Nitish and his fellow partyman and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav have been actively engaged in reviving the Janata Dal of the early 1990s and trying to forge a Third Front, which will provide a viable political alternative to the BJP and the Congress. But Nitish’s political future in Bihar hinges on the political space provided to him by his former arch-rival turned alliance partner, Lalu. The surprise, though, is how the RJD has been ignored in the move, despite being one of the largest party of the offshoots of the erstwhile Janata Dal. There is a feeling that the move is not only to contain the saffron wave but at the same time also take a different political line from the Congress.
Nitish campaigned for the INLD candidates in Haryana, even when his party was in a grand alliance with the Congress and the RJD in Bihar. In contrast, RJD leader Rabri Devi, in spite of her husband Lalu Prasad recovering in Delhi, went to campaign for the Congress candidates in Haryana.
Nitish and Sharad are now planning to rope in Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party into the Janata Parivar of the early 1990s, but it remains a mystery as to why the INLD or the RLD had failed to invite the RJD. Lalu may be recuperating, but if the Congress can invite Rabri, then why can’t any other RJD leader be invited by the two Jat leaders of Haryana and UP?
The Janata Dal (United) can argue that the grand alliance of the RJD, the JD(U) and the Congress is confined to Bihar and the party can ally with anyone outside the state. But the question is if the motto is to revive the Janata Parivar nationally, why not get the RJD on board, which also has its roots in that old party.