SP pulls out of grand alliance led by JD(U)

Sharad Yadav holds talks with Mulayam in a bid to broker compromise.

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:33 pm IST

Published - September 04, 2015 03:22 am IST - Patna/ Delhi:

NEW DELHI, 21/06/2012: JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav addressing a news conference in connection with   Presidential elections at his residence in New Delhi on June 21, 2012. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar.

NEW DELHI, 21/06/2012: JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav addressing a news conference in connection with Presidential elections at his residence in New Delhi on June 21, 2012. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar.

Hours after the Samajwadi Party announced in Lucknow that it was pulling out of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U)-led grand alliance in Bihar, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav rushed to meet SP supremo Mulayam Singh to try and sort out the differences between the two parties.

Emerging from the SP chief’s residence in Delhi, Mr Yadav told journalists on Thursday evening, “There was an alliance, there is an alliance and the alliance will remain. Everything will be sorted out and an amicable solution will be found.” He, however, refused to spell out the details of the compromise that is being worked out though it was evident that it will have to centre round the sharing of seats: the SP was given just five seats whereas it wanted at least 12 of the 243 seats in the State. The JD(U) has 100 seats, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) 98 and the Congress 40.

Congress State chief Ashok Choudhury told The Hindu in Patna that the SP’s exit would have no impact on the alliance in the Bihar polls. But the JD(U) and the RJD know that the SP’s departure, coming as it does in the wake of the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) walking out of the alliance last week, makes for bad optics.

The SP and the NCP may be fringe players in the State, but their exit could cut into the “secular vote”, while underscoring the historic inability of the members of the Janata Parivar to stick together.

Besides, the Left Parties – also marginal players – are also contesting alone. Reports suggest that if the JD(U) fails to persuade the SP to return to the grand alliance, all these parties may forge a front of their own. Whatever votes these parties may garner would come from those that might otherwise be expected to go to the grand alliance.

Earlier in the day in Lucknow, the SP pulled out of the “grand alliance” in the poll-bound State, stressing it had felt “humiliated”. “Our party’s parliamentary board took the decision to fight the Bihar polls on our own,” said SP leader Ramgopal Yadav, adding that the grand alliance’s bigger constituents had not honoured the principle of coalition dharma in the allocation of seats. “We learnt from the media about five seats being given to us. We feel insulted,” he said.

Responding, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said he was sure he would be able to convince Mr. Mulayam Singh to remain in the grand alliance: If the SP’s differences with the JD(U), the RJD and the Congress are not sorted out, it will have implications both in Bihar and elsewhere. While in a closely fought contest in Bihar against the BJP-led combine, every vote will count for a grouping that has to battle anti-incumbency, the coming together earlier this year of different elements of the Janata Parivar under the leadership of Mr Mulayam Singh was also expected to have an impact not just in Bihar, but in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Meanwhile, the SP leader’s younger brother Ramgopal Yadav, who has long been seen as an obstacle to Janata unity, said the Janata Parivar, “in fact, never came into existence. I knew from the beginning that such things will occur during Bihar Assembly polls and that was why I’d refused to sign the death warrant for our party. No more Janata Parivar now.”

Earlier, to present a united face, SP leader Shivpal Singh Yadav was invited to Patna to participate in the Swabhiman rally held in Patna on August 30.

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