JD(U) chief poised for larger role

Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav’s unopposed election to Rajya Sabha has ensured for him an important role in Bihar politics. The support he received from competing forces — BJP, RJD and JD(U) — only shows that they expect him to play a bigger role in the state.  

So far Yadav’s own agenda is concerned, he has been working for a broader social alliance with both Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar in it. Though, Yadav has not articulated this social alliance in terms of castes, it is obvious that he wants Yadavas and Kurmis, the two numerically powerful castes in Bihar to come together. If this alliance gets the support of Muslims, it would hardly be possible for anyone including BJP to defeat it.

Soon after the polls, Yadav had announced that working for a broader alliance was over and that both Lalu and Nitish would be coming together. Though Lalu never accepted it formally, he indirectly endorsed it by extending support to the JD(U) government in the Assembly. 

Formula

According to sources, Yadav had also devised a formula in which Lalu’s wife and former chief minister Rabri Devi was to be sent to Rajya Sabha with the support of JD(U). But, Nitish ultimately dragged his feet and did not support the idea. 

“Nitish’s step may not go down well with the RJD leader and prospect of their coming together might be adversely affected,” said a senior JD(U) leader. 

Despite a negative signal from JD(U), the RJD chose to support Sharad Yadav. The BJP also did the same and did not oppose him in any manner. This was obviously due to his warm ties with BJP and the sincere efforts he had made to save the alliance between JD(U) and BJP. 

The support from all competing forces of Bihar politics have certainly added to his stature and it will give him the moral authority to become an important negotiator in the state’s politics. 

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