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Resurrecting the Janata Dal

Resurrecting the Janata Dal

Janatha Dal, the centre left party was formed on October 11, 1988 marking the birth date of the veteran socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan.

The Lok Dal that split from the erstwhile Janatha party and Janamorcha formed in 1987 by V P Singh, merged to form the Janatha Dal. The newly formed Janata Dal became popular throughout India, as a party to fight corruption. V P Singh rose to power as the Prime Minister through the 1989 national elections and held office for less than a year. But the short duration sent waves of high impact heavily influencing the nation. During his tenure, V P Singh upheld the Mandal Commission that had a mandate of ‘identifying the socially or educationally backward’ to overcome the discriminations in different sectors. When Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated during an election rally in Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991, Congress rode high on the sympathy wave and Narasimha Rao became the next Prime Minister of the country. The lost prestige of the socialist politics could not be redeemed even after I K Gujaral and Deve Gowda assumed office. The political infightings within and outside the factions led to the split and the party was dissolved. But the remnants of the Janatha Dal party could be found even today all across the country. Currently, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar are ruled by Samajwadi party, Biju Janatha Dal and Nitish Kumar's Janatha Dal United. RJD, Om Prakash Chautala's INLD, Deve Gowda's JD (S) and SJD are also actively present.

But the recent turn of things have gladly been welcomed by the various political parties. Six constituents of the erstwhile Janatha Dal will soon be merging as one party as their leaders on Thursday announced the decision in New Delhi. The main goal is the joining of the forces to fight BJP and its failure in tackling the relevant issues plagueing the nation. The Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav is likely to work out the ‘modalities’ in the direction. The decision to combine both houses of the parliament into one bloc was also taken. In the first joint action outside Parliament, SP, Janata Dal (Secular), Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal (United), Indian National Lok Dal and Samajwadi Janata Party would also hold a ‘dharna’ on December 22 in Janthar Manthar against government’s “failure” to bring back black money stashed abroad, its alleged U-turn on farmers’ issue and rising unemployment. The parties have been raised their voices in the same manner on issues of public interest. After the formation of the new party, a protest against the Modi government is likely to be held and likeminded parties including the Congress, Trinamool and Left parties would be expected to call upon for support. It would also oppose the Insurance Bill. The merged party will be the second largest opposition bloc after Congress in the Rajya Sabha. The merging of all the factions of the Janatha ‘Parivar’ and the resurrection of the Janatha Dal to confront Modi has been widely welcomed. Sorting out the differences and coming together of the factions is apparently a way to reinforce the democracy.

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