Recently, three major political parties in Bihar, Janata Dal United (JDU) under Nitish Kumar, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) under the former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, and Congress had agreed on an alliance to contest the Assembly- by elections in the State.
The by elections would take place in ten constituencies on August 21with JDU and RJD contesting in 4 seats and Congress in 2. The alliance would be continued in the Assembly elections as well. The by elections are seen as the “semifinals” for the crucial Assembly elections that will be held in Bihar next year. In a situation where people are still wary of the communal and fascist traits of BJP’s right wing politics, the new decision has come as sigh of relief for many. Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad have both grown up under the influence of the inspiring socialist politics of Jayaprakash Narayan who had led the vigorous “total revolution movement”. Many prominent personalities in the Indian politics including Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan, Sharad Yadav and George Fernandes also belong to the same era of JP’s total revolution and had led students and youths towards the socialist politics. But most of them either retreated or diverted their paths. A stalwart of trade union-socialist politics, George Ferdandes was the first socialist leader to enter BJP. Ram Vilas Paswan too attached himself to the Party in the bygone elections. The failure to respect and acknowledge the perceptions of each other, a common trait of the socialist leaders, led to the deterioration of the Party which was once only next in power to the Congress.
But they have realized that bickering over petty issues will only destroy their political future. For them it is plainly clear that their positions would be in danger if they allow the Sangh Parivar politics of duping the citizens by igniting national and religious ardor. If the realization is broad enough, then the Socialist faction will soon be able to regain their once bright and powerful tenure and have a political future in the country. Other than Bihar, Uttar Pradesh (Samajwadi Party) and Odisha (Biju Janatha dal) are today governed by the old Socialist parties. RJD is also in full swing in Bihar. Janatha dal Secular occupies a powerful position in Karnataka. In states like Kerala and Maharashtra too, the Socialist parties are much active. When the Congress stays with two seats in the Party, others like CPM, CPI and CPM (I) declared that they would not back the alliance. If the drawbacks of the past are comprehended carefully and steps taken to revive the Party, it would be capable of wonders in a country intimidated by the BJP. It is yet to be seen whether the people will accept the alliance. But the senior leaders are confident of bringing together the votes of the people which was once divided.