NEW DELHI: Former Union Minister Sharad Yadav on Sunday merged his Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) led by fo Lalu Prasad Yadav. After announcing the merger of the two parties, Sharad Yadav said that the move is the "first step towards (the formation of) a united Opposition".
"Merger of our party with the RJD is the first step towards forging the Opposition unity. It's imperative that the whole Opposition gets united across India to defeat the BJP. As of now, unification is our priority. It'll be only after that we would think about who will lead the united Opposition," he added.
Meanwhile, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Sunday welcomed the move to merge LJD with his party and urged all the opposition parties in the country to stand united, adding that it is imperative for the Opposition to prioritize unification to defeat the BJP.
Reacting to the decision taken by both the parties, Tejashwi said, "The decision (merging of LJD into RJD) taken by Sharad Yadav was the demand of the people. It has given a message to other opposition parties that it's high time we should have united in 2019 but it's better late than never."
Sharad Yadav had formed the LJD in 2018 after parting his ways from Janata Dal (United) over the party's alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party. The LJD never fought elections since its inception while its chief Sharad Yadav lost the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Madhepura on the RJD ticket.
Sharad Yadav was the Cabinet Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee led NDA government at the Centre.
The two leaders, incidentally, have come together after a gap of 25 years. They had parted ways in 1997 when Lalu Prasad Yadav had founded the RJD and Sharad Yadav along with Nitish Kumar launched the JDU.
Lalu Prasad Yadav was later convicted in the fodder scam. He rode the "Mandal" politics bandwagon in the 1990s to dominate Bihar politics, besides playing a key role in national politics. After the LJD-RJD merger, the RJD is likely to nominate Sharad Yadav to the Rajya Sabha during biennial polls for the Upper House slated for June.