JD-U, JVM-P, RLD, SJP heading for merger?

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) Ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajtantrik), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and Samajwadi Janata Party (SJP) may merge soon.

“Talks are at the final stage. We held a crucial round of meeting on March 15. Things have progressed well and we are hopeful of a merger,” JD-U leader K. C. Tyagi told IANS here.

“Our intent is to reunite the legacy of Ram Manohor Lohia and Chaudhary Charan Singh,” he said, adding stalwarts like Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav of his party and Ajit Singh of RLD have given a go ahead for the move.

“Merger will be formally announced in New Delhi soon,” Tyagi said.

Notably, the initiative comes after unification moves of the larger Janata Parivar, including Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Samajwadi Party, have failed more than once.

“This time the Samajwadi Party has been kept out of the unification move,” an informed source said.

Informed sources said Nitish Kumar and K.C. Tyagi were in touch with a former BJP leader and former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi, who heads the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajtantrik).

The Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya), floated by former prime minister Chandra Shekhar, is now headed by Kamal Morarka.

The unification move could have an impact in Uttar Pradesh where assembly polls are due by March 2017.

The RLD of Ajit Singh has been an important player in western Uttar Pradesh but suffered defeat in the Lok Sabha elections of 2014.

While Ajit Singh lost his bastion Baghpat to BJP’s Satya Pal Singh, Ajit Singh’s son Jayant Chaudhary was humbled by cine star and BJP’s Hema Malini in Mathura — both in Uttar Pradesh.

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