With lantern support, arrow hits bullseye in Bihar polls

With lantern support, arrow hits bullseye in Bihar polls

With lantern support, arrow hits bullseye in Bihar polls

The arrow hit the bullseye in Bihar today with the support of lantern that the lotus wilted in a politically crucial state.

As the JD(U)-led Grand Secular Alliance swept the Bihar Assembly elections, the outcome was very crucial for Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)), whose election symbol is 'arrow', as it was decimated in 2014 Lok Sabha elections in the state giving it a negligible presence with only two out of 545 seats in its kitty.

Lantern is the poll symbol of Lalu Prasad-led Rashtriya Janata Dal(RJD) which is part of the JD(U)-led alliance which also included the Congress.

JD(U), which has political presence mainly in Bihar, Jharkhand and Kerala, was formed with the merger of the Sharad Yadav faction of the Janata Dal, the Lokshakti Party and the Samata Party on 30 October 2003.

The Samata Party led by George Fernandes and Nitish Kumar merged with the Janata Dal. The merged entity was called JD(U) with the arrow symbol of JD(U) and the green and white flag of the Samata Party.

The uniting force is believed to be common opposition to RJD in Bihar especially after it welcomed Samata Party rebels like Raghunath Jha into the party.

The JD(U) along with its alliance partner, the BJP defeated the RJD-led UPA government in Bihar in November 2005. and retained power in 2010 with the ruling coalition holding 206 seats in 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly.

JD(U)) broke its 17-year old alliance with the BJP in Bihar in June 2013 in protest against the elevation of Narendra Modi as a head of election campaign committee of BJP for 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

JD(U) President Sharad Yadav and then Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced their end of coalition at a press conference on 16 June 2013, exactly a week after Modi was made the BJP's campaign committee chairman, who was later made the prime ministerial candidate of NDA. Just after this split, Sharad Yadav relinquished his position as the NDA convenor.

It contested Lok Sabha polls in Bihar in an alliance with CPI but they won only two seats out of total 40 seats of Bihar while the BJP-LJP alliance bagged 31 seats.

Following poor performance in elections, Nitish resigned as Chief Minister of Bihar and Jitan Ram Manjhi sworn in as a new Chief Minister. When the trust vote was demanded by the BJP to prove majority in Bihar assembly, the RJD supported the JD(U) in the assembly on May 23, 2014 to pass the majority mark.

But some of Manjhi's controversial moves forced Nitish to oust him in February 2015 and return to power with the help of Lalu Prasad.

On April 14, 2015, the JD(U), JD(S), RJD, the Indian National Lok Dal, Samajwadi Party, and Samajwadi Janata Party announced that they would merge into a new national Janata Parivar alliance in order to oppose the BJP but this did not fructify and then the Samajwadi Party was offered 3 seats out of 243 assembly seats in Bihar elections which caused it to leave the alliance and fight separately.

Displaying a picture of unity, JD(U), RJD and Congress on August 12 announced formation of a grand secular alliance.

Irrespective of any social or political differences, the JD(U) believes in propagating the true values of Gandhian socialism.

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