Prajatantrik Lok Ekta Dal, JD(S) merge ahead of Assembly election in Bihar

The former prime minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, on Wednesday blamed the socio-economic policies of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party for fomenting naxalism in the country.

“Who is a naxal? The deprived and the downtrodden man of our country who is driven to the extremes by the denial of basic human rights,” said Mr. Gowda at a rally of Janata Dal (Secular) workers here.

“Naxals are our own countrymen, not strangers,” said the JD(S) supremo, while maintaining that “indiscriminate acquisition of lands by corporate houses” was the root cause behind the spread of naxalism.

Here to oversee the merger of his self-proclaimed protégé Dadan ‘Pehelwan' Singh Yadav's fledgling party — the Prajatantrik Lok Ekta Dal, with the JD(S) — Mr. Gowda said the newly formed ‘third front' would prove to be a worthy alternative to both the ruling Janata Dal (United) -BJP combine and the opposing Rashtriya Janata Dal-Lok Jan Shakti Party alliance during the upcoming Assembly election.

Mr. Gowda said that policies of the Congress had driven thousands of farmers to commit suicide en masse, while the condition of the Dalits and the Adivasis throughout the country was deplorable.

He was particularly critical of the poor condition of Bihar's youths as a result of the successive policies of the erstwhile RJD and the current National Democratic Alliance government under Nitish Kumar.

Hitting out at the uni-polar politics practiced by both parties, the JD(S) said the BJP and the Congress were, in fact, two sides of the same coin.

“There is an urgent need for secular parties other than these two to come together and unite on a common platform.”

Mr. Yadav, a former minister in the Lalu Prasad government, said the ‘third front' would strive to improve Bihar's image, “tainted” during the tenure of the RJD and the NDA governments.

The formation of a ‘third front' before the election was announced last month by the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, along with Mr. Yadav.

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