The name and symbol of a new party that will be formed through the merger of six Janata Parivar entities will be announced at a meeting of its leaders slated for Sunday at Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh’s residence here, sources said.
The SP leader will be the new party’s chairman and its name will contain the word Samajwadi — either Samajwadi Janata Dal or Samajwadi Janata Party.
Its symbol will either be the SP emblem, the cycle, or the wheel that the erstwhile Janata Dal had frozen in 1999 when it split into the Sharad Yadav-led Janata Dal (United) and the H.D. Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular). Both parties were allotted separate symbols.
The SP held a meeting of all its units in Lucknow on Wednesday and passed a resolution agreeing to the merger. A similar resolution will be passed in Patna on Saturday by the Rashtriya Janata Dal under the leadership of Lalu Prasad, while the JD(U) is likely to go through the same procedure on April 8.
The Indian National Lok Dal, the JD(S) and the Samajwadi Janata Party will also pass internal resolutions agreeing to dissolving their separate identities and forming one party: these resolutions are required by the Election Commission before it registers the new party.
Sunday’s meeting is expected to be attended by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, JD-U leaders Sharad Yadav and K.C. Tyagi, Mr. Prasad and representatives from the INLD and the SJP.
Mr. Mulayam Singh is likely to be the leader of the new parliamentary party in the Lok Sabha, while Mr. Yadav could be named its leader in the Rajya Sabha. The new formation will have 15 MPs in the Lower House and 30 in the Upper House.
Sunday’s meeting follows Mr. Kumar's meetings with Janata Parivar leaders here last week, even visiting INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala in Tihar Jail.
Mr. Kumar, Mr. Yadav and Mr. Tyagi (JD-U) and Mr. Prasad and Prem Chand Gupta (RJD) had also met at the residence of the SP chief, who had been authorised by all these parties to work out the modalities of the merger.
The first impact of the new party will be felt when it launches a united agitation against the Land Acquisition Bill, and then when Parliament meets on April 20 for the second half of the Budget Session. Its first challenge, of course, will be the Bihar Assembly elections later this year.