NEW DELHI (TIP): Call it fear of decimation at the hands of a fearsome political opponent or a genuine desire to promote the ideals and ideas of Ram Manohar Lohia and Jay Prakash Narayan, leaders of six parties that emerged from erstwhile Janata Parivar, on Thursday, December 4, decided to set in motion the process of their unification into a single political outfit, and mandated SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to work out the modalities to this end. Mulayam is tipped to be the president of the new outfit, which may be named Samajwadi Janata Dal.

Mulayam might also lead the new formation in the Lok Sabha, with JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav leading the pack in the Rajya Sabha. Those present at the luncheon, hosted by Mulayam at his residence, included former PM and JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowda, JD(U) leaders Sharad Yadav, Nitish Kumar and K C Tyagi, RJD president Lalu Prasad, SP floor leader in the Rajya Sabha Ram Gopal Yadav, INLD MP Dushyant Chautala and SJP chief Kamal Morarka. Sources said Nitish, Sharad and Lalu together suggested that because of his “seniority”, Mulayam should lead the proposed outfit and work out modalities for the merger.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Nitish said there should not be any ambiguity over the proposed merger. “We all felt there should be one party because we have the same philosophy and principles,” he said. When asked had they come together because of threat from rising popularity of BJP, the former Bihar CM said, “Our aim is to forge a single platform in the current political atmosphere.” On why the reunification had not happened right away, Tyagi, JD(U) national spokesperson said, “There is standard process for merger. All six parties will have to call meeting of their respective national executives and pass resolutions regarding dissolving their parties and symbols.

All parties have been asked to complete these formalities within three-four months,” The sources also revealed Lalu told the participants that nobody should worry about Bihar. He said whatever problems might occur in Bihar, he and Nitish would mutually sort them out. The sources said the leaders resolved to move forward with the motto: unity (among themselves) and struggle (against the Narendra Modi government). Nitish announced they would jointly observe a Vaada Nibhao Diwas on December 22 and organise a dharna near Jantar Mantar to draw public attention to BJP’s failure to keep its electoral promises.