Sharad camp's party to be announced on May 18

Sharad camp's party to be announced on May 18

Three days after the Karnataka election results are out, supporters of former JD (U) president Sharad Yadav, who parted ways with Nitish Kumar last year, will have a new party on May 18, an event which will be showcased as a precursor to grand Opposition unity plans.

Javed Raja, a general secretary from the Sharad camp of JD (U) told  DH that the one-day event on May 18 will happen soon after the results in Karnataka, on which the Opposition has pinned high hopes.

He said the event could be addressed by the major leaders of several Opposition parties as the new entity's key role will be to act as a fulcrum of Opposition unity.

After the Election Commission (EC) in November last year ruled in favour of Nitish Kumar over the matter of party symbol and recognised his party as JD (U), the Sharad camp had begun the move for the registration of a new party and submitted a list of its choice names like Apna Janata Dal, Loktantrik Janata Dal, Lok Shahi Janata Dal, Samajwadi Janata Dal and Jantantrik Janata Dal.

Leaders in the Sharad camp are hopeful that the EC  will allot the new party name to them within a week, after which the party will immediately apply for an election symbol.

A source in the party said that the party has zeroed in on two symbols  - 'autorickshaw' and 'farmer with fawda' (an agriculture tool to dig soil).

In absence of the JD (U) symbol, former JD (U) MLA from Gujarat Chhotubhai Vasava had contested the Assembly election in Gujarat this year with the autorickshaw symbol under the banner of Bhartiya Tribal Party.

The 'farmer with fawda' is similar to Lok Dal's farmer ploughing field. In 2016, when Nitish and Yadav were together, there was a consideration for the party seeking a new symbol of 'farmer ploughing field', as its 'arrow' symbol was found to be confusing with symbols of some other parties.

The symbol of H D Devegowda's JD (S) is 'lady farmer carrying paddy on her head'. The  Sharad camp had also toyed with the idea of the motorcycle symbol, which has some similarity with bicycle symbol of Samajwadi Party.

Farmers are integral to the identity and politics of the Janata Parivar parties. Similarly, the symbol of the wheel (pahiya) also reflect the parties connection with farmers and workers in tandem with its socialist democratic ideology.

Asked whether it means that the party has given up its claim on JD (U), Raja said the fight for JD  (U) will continue but a new party is needed to fight the elections till then. He made it clear that Sharad Yadav will hold no post in the new party but will "bless" it.

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