Sharad Yadav merges his LJD party with Lalu’s RJD after 25 years

Sharad Yadav said, “He (Tejashwi) is the future. Today we need young people.  RJD is your party, you have to strengthen it. Strengthen his hands. I cannot be active like before. But I will do my best to strengthen him.”

Veteran socialist leader and former Union minister Sharad Yadav Sunday merged his Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) party with the Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in New Delhi. The merger took place 25 years after the two leaders parted ways.

Sharad said, “He (Tejashwi) is the future. Today we need young people.  RJD is your party, you have to strengthen it. Strengthen his hands. I cannot be active like before. But I will do my best to strengthen him. We will talk to Akhilesh to strengthen our fight…I believe Lalu Pradad will walk free one day. He would not have been in jail had he compromised with communal forces.”

RJD leader and Bihar’s Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said, “Across the country, hatred is being spread, brotherhood is at peril, price rise is a crude reality and constitutional institutions are being reduced to party cells. People who are raising questions on unemployment, inflation are being crushed. Sharad Yadav’s decision (to merge his party with RJD) gives us strength and confidence and will prove helpful. Going ahead, this is also sending out a message to all opposition parties that we are already running late. We should have come together after 2019 itself. We will be able to oust the communal forces if the socialist forces join hands. Demands are being raised to disenfranchise the minorities. We will never let that happen.”

RJD Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha said, “People ask me whether this move will strengthen our party. To them I would like to say this will strengthen socialist politics and politics of social justice.”

Since it was first formed in 2018, the LJD has not fought an election. Sharad unsuccessfully contested from Madhepura during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on the RJD ticket.

Earlier announcing his decision to merge with his friend-turned-rival-turned-friend’s political party, Sharad has said this will be part of his efforts to bring together various splinter outfits of the erstwhile Janata Dal. “To establish a strong Opposition in the country is the need of the hour. I have been working in this direction for a long time to unite breakaway parties of the erstwhile Janata Dal as well as other like-minded parties. Hence, I have decided to merge my party LJD with the RJD,” he tweeted on Wednesday.

Tejashwi described Sharad as a “father-figure and socialist icon”. “Everyone knows the importance of veteran socialist Sharad Yadav in Indian politics. He is a father figure and would guide us,” he had recently said in Patna.

(With ENS inputs)