PATNA/NEW DELHI — The six parties of erstwhile Janata Parivar have merged to form a new socialist entity and a formal announcement will be made by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, RJD chief Lalu Prasad announced after his party put its stamp on the unification to take on the BJP juggernaut.
The RJD chief dared BJP president Amit Shah with slogan 'Ek Jhanda; Ek Nishan' (One flag, one symbol) in Patna and said other "secular" parties may be invited to join the new entity.
Lashing out at BJP, Prasad said, "I charge that BJP is the cheater of the country. Its organisation is based on cheating. It is a party based on lies."
Speaking on the merger, Prasad said there "should be no doubts regarding the merger henceforth". Elections in Bihar are due in November.
"As far as Janata Parivar, the six parties are concerned, their merger has happened and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav will formally announce it because he has been authorised for it," Prasad told reporters in Patna.
The RJD chief was speaking to media persons after the daylong national executive meeting of his party got over at a hotel here in the state capital.
"Merger means merger. There should be no doubts about it. Only one symbol and not other shall remain because different symbols will create confusion among the public. We will also ask other secular parties to join the new party to combat communalism," he added.
Over 250 representatives from 21 states, including leaders like Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, Bihar RJD President Ram Chandra Purve and others were present on the occasion.
While in national capital, JD-U general secretary K C Tyagi said that the decision of Prasad will facilitate the SP chief to take an early decision on it.
"We welcome the decision of Lalu Prasad ji and are confident that the merger will be formalised soon," he said.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is in the national capital to attend a conference of Chief Justices of High Courts and Chief Ministers, is likely to meet the SP chief.
Sources say that the entire process for merger has been completed and the name of the new party could be announced before the second half of the Budget session, beginning April 20.
Sources had earlier said that the new socialist entity could be named either Samajwadi Janta Dal or Samajwadi Janta Party and Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose SP has the largest number of MPs among the six in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, will be the chairman of the new umbrella entity. They will have a common symbol and a common flag.