Free Press Journal

Lalu, Sharad meet Mulayam to save Bihar alliance, SP keeps mum



New Delhi: Taken aback by the surprise exit of Samajwadi Party from Bihar’s anti-BJP coalition, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav and RJD chief Lalu Prasad today met Mulayam Singh Yadav to salvage the alliance but failed to get any assurance from the SP supremo. JD(U) and RJD scrambled to rescue the ‘grand alliance’ after Samajwadi Party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav’s sudden announcement in Lucknow yesterday that his party was walking out of it as it felt “humiliated” after not being consulted by larger partners in the state over seat sharing.

“Talks are on. Talks will continue. The entire 200 seats (100 each of RJD and JD-U) belong to Netaji (Mulayam) and Samajwadi Party. When came together, a message went in the country that we will defeat the BJP. “He (Mulayam) is our guardian. He has all the more responsiblity to ensure this (that the alliance continues). Communalism is a threat to the country. Everyone wants to finish it. We have told Netaji to reconsider it so that a socialist and secular govement is formed in Bihar,” Lalu, who rushed to Delhi from Patna for the rescue job, told reporters after a two-hour meeting with Mulayam where Sharad Yadav was also present.

Lalu, whose daughter is married to the SP chief’s grand nephew, also referred to his personal relationship with Mulayam, saying he has “all the rights” to prevail upon him. While there was no word from the SP following the meeting, JD-U President put up a brave face saying “everything will be settled”.

“Talks are on. You will get some good news in a day or two. This has nothing to do with seats. There are some internal matters which are not to be discussed with the media,” Yadav, who had met Mulayam yesterday also to try and persuade him to continue in the anti-BJP front, said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, SP leaders said Mulayam was not comfortable with being seen in the company of Congress, a rival in politics of Uttar Pradesh where JD(U) or RJD have hardly any stakes. Being seen with Congress president Sonia Gandhi at election rallies would not go down well with SP supporters, they said.

The Samajwadi Party chief was also roundly criticised by Sonia for pushing for smooth functioning of Parliament when Congress had repeately stalled the proceedings over Lalit Modi controversy, land bill and the Vyapam scam.