Bihar-based Samajwadi Janata Dal (Democratic), led by the former Union Minister Devendra Yadav, merged with the Janata Dal (Secular) in the presence of its president and former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, here on Tuesday.

The merger comes even as the Election Commission announced the first phase of election for the Bihar Legislative Assembly on Monday.

The Samata Party, led by the former IPS officer, N.K. Singh, is also likely to merge with the JD(S) after the election, Mr. Gowda announced, while adding that the party would contest under the JD(S) symbol in the election.

“This will be a new beginning of Bihar politics,” he said. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress were two sides of the same coin and the JD(S) would seek to provide an alternative in the State in the interests of the poor, the farmers, Dalits, OBCs, minorities and the general public.

He exhorted all secular forces to join hands and defeat the communal and fascist forces and said “this is the beginning of our revival in North India.”