Putting all speculation to rest, Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad said on Sunday that the merger of six socialist parties had already been done, and the announcement would be made soon.
“Everyone is curious to know about the merger… It has been done, and it will be announced soon by [Samajwadi Party president] Mulayam Singh,” he told journalists at the end of the party’s national executive committee meeting.
As for the new party’s name and symbol, Mr. Prasad said there would be “one party, one symbol and one flag.”
Asked whether he would include the former Chief Minister, Jitan Ram Manjhi, in the new party, he shot back: “Have I ever said anything against Mr. Manjhi? All secular parties, including Mr. Manjhi’s, should come on one platform to defeat the BJP.”
In a scathing attack on the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Prasad said they had failed to keep their promises to the people of the country. “The BJP is the cheater of the country and Mr. Modi is chief of liars.”
Asked who would be the inheritor of his party, Mr. Prasad said: “Only a son becomes the inheritor of his father.”
Tej Pratap, his elder son, was present at the meeting, but younger son Tejaswi and eldest daughter Misa Bharti were absent because of “some pressing engagement,” a party leader said.
All senior leaders, including Pappu Yadav, MP, and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, who have been speaking in favour of Mr. Manjhi to the chagrin of Mr. Prasad, were present at the meeting.
Janata Parivar merger
>Janata Parivar merger: Name and symbol of new party on Sunday
Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh to be the chairman of the outfit
>Janata merger not to be announced on April 5: Nitish
The six parties involved in merger are Samajwadi Party, RJD, JD(U), INLD, Samajwadi Janata Party and JD(S).
>No hiccups in Janata Parivar merger
The merger of Janata Parivar will be announced in time to prepare for Bihar polls and the six constituents have decided on the symbol and the flag