LUCKNOW: Upbeat over the prospects of an anti-BJP alliance for 2019 following an SP-BSP tie-up and its results in UP bypoll, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has set off the process of exploring new vistas to expand the base of the alliance by reaching out to like-minded parties.
Taking a lead in this direction, SP chief has initially identified Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar and has deputed party’s vice president Kiranmoy Nanda to call on RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in jail in Ranchi and then meet his son Tejaswi in Patna to gauge their mood.
Notably, the first families of both the parties are related to each other as Lalu Yadav’s youngest daughter Raj Lakshmi is wedded to Tej Pratap ‘Teju’ (Mulayam Singh Yadav’s grandnephew) who is party MP from Mainpuri parliamentary constituency.
Nanda, in all probability, will meet Lalu Yadav on March 24 either at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) where he was admitted on Saturday following the complaint of chest pain, or at Birsa
Munda Jail in Ranchi where he is lodged presently, if discharged from the hospital by then. The 69-year-old former Bihar chief minister is serving a jail term after being convicted in a fodder scam case.
“In any case, we have already taken permission from the jail authorities and have been allotted the time between 8 am to 12 noon on March 24,” claimed Nanda disclosing that after meeting RJD chief he would meet his son Tejaswi as well.
Calling it merely a courtesy call, Nanda said he would carry the message of opposition unity on behalf of Akhilesh Yadav to the RJD chief as such a move was imperative to stop the BJP from returning to power in 2019 LS polls.
Confident of Lalu’s support to the opposition unity effort, senior SP leaders feel that the former Bihar CM being a votary of an anti-BJP grand alliance, had himself mooted the idea of uniting the regional parties and made promising efforts on a couple of previous occasions in this direction.
The RJD veteran had in August 2017 organised ‘BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao’ rally in Patna which was attended by Akhilesh Yadav apart from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and senior politician
Sharad Yadav among others. BSP supremo Mayawati had, however, stayed away from the event then saying that she would share any such a stage only after seat-sharing formula was chalked out.