ENARADA, New Delhi, November 17, 2014
By Sri Krishna
Barely six months since being routed in the Lok Sabha elections, members of the Janata Parivar who have split into about half a dozen parties are now making efforts at reunification.
It appears as though they have already becoming impatient of being out of power and with only 15 members in the Lok Sabha and 25 in the Rajya Sabha, the leaders of five parties – Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal (U), Rashtriya Jnata Dal (RJD), Janata Dal (S) and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) – are coming together to form a single bloc with common leaders in both Houses of Parliament when the winter session gets underway from November 24.
The initiative for this effort of reunification of the Janata Parivar was taken by JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, who held consultations with his counterparts in other Janata variants to work out a consensus at bringing them together and elect a leader.
The leaders of the Janata Parivar Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav from the SP, Sharad Yadav and K C Tyagi from the JD(U), Prem Chand Gupta and Jai Prakash Narain Yadav from the RJD, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda of the JD(S) and Dushyant Chautala of the INLD are slated to meet to elect a leader.
The Lok Sabha break-up is: SP (5), RJD (4) and JD(U), JD-S and INLD (2 each). The Janata Dal has as many as 12 people in the Upper House, followed by the SP with 10 members and the JD(S), the RJD and the INLD have one each.
The united Janata Parivar plans to have a federal structure, providing for a free hand to regional satraps in their core areas of influence.
However, the parivar has not yet had any contact with Odisha Chief Minister and BJD leader Naveen Patnaik yet.
But, one of the major problems in the Janata Parivar for selecting a leader in the Lok Sabha is that each one of the constituents has a person who is a leader in his own right.
Take Mulayam Singh Yadav of the SP or H.D. Deve Gowda of the JD(S) under whose prime ministership Yadav was a minister and of course except these two there are no big leaders of any of the Parivar in the Lok Sabha with Sharad Yadav being in the Rajya Sabha, Lalu Yadav of the RJD being disqualified.
Besides, with 15 MPs in the Lok Sabha, it is indeed going to be an uphill task for these parties as they have also decided to keep out left parties who of course have welcomed the move of formation of a single party by the Janata Parivar.
These parties have to face a formidable challenge in their turfs from Narendra Modi-led BJP.
“This is an arrangement we are looking at and we will take a decision when the session begins,” said JD(U) President Sharad Yadav who is a driving force behind the unity exercise.
The move by the parties belonging to the Janata Parivar began some two weeks after the leaders of the splinter groups had a luncheon meeting convened by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Leaders of all these parties had met earlier also to revive some sort of third front. They had recently come together at a public meeting in Meerut organised by Ajit Singh of Rashtriya Lok Dal though he has not yet joined the group and known for always going whichever way the wind blows.
The proponents of the Janata Parivar unity are of the view that Janata Dal had been an axis power whenever non-Congress governments were formed at the Centre. The emergence of BJP in the Lok Sabha as the dominant force has put a stiff challenge before SP in UP and JD(U) and RJD in Bihar.
They believe that a united front will also have a bigger say in case of any larger “secular alliance” against BJP.
Though the Janata Parivar have not yet made any move to bring in the left parties, but, the CPI(M) apparently wants to keep doors open and so welcomed the move of six political parties of the ‘Janata Parivar’ (family) to come together to take on the Central Government,
CPI(M) said that it would closely study its principles and policies before giving a thought to join such a coalition at the national level.
“We welcome the move by the constituents of erstwhile Janata Parivar to come together on one platform to take on a resurgent BJP….We’ll, however, await formulation of policies and principles on which these parties shape up a coalition at the national level before giving a thought to join it,” CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury said.
Clearly the left party appears to have adopted a cautious approach since the moves by the members of the Parivar are indeed very unpredictable.
Parties like the left and others who are for a non-BJP and non-Congress grouping would rather wait and watch and as Yechury said “let these parties first work on its principles and policies which are not clear as yet.”