JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar

Senior JD(U) leader and former Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday said that the proposed merger of Janata Parivar parties, including Lalu Prasad’s RJD and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, was on track, though no deadline has been fixed for it.”We all are active on the merger. Mulayam Singh Yadav, who has been authorised to take it ahead, is working on it. We talked about it on January 1 too. He will finalise it after talking to everybody (all parties), but no deadline has been fixed for it yet,” said Kumar.”Merger will be according to a set process and all formalities will be finished before it. Though our party members have suggested that it should not become a never-ending process and should be completed soon,” Kumar added.Kumar, flanked by state JD (U) president Vashistha Narayan Singh and a couple of ministers, was talking to media persons after the end of two-day meeting of party leaders in Patna. The meeting deliberated over various issues including merger of parties, future public engagements and issues that will be taken up in the run-up to the assembly elections next year.Talking about merger Kumar said it has nothing to do with ‘Kharmas’ (inauspicious month from December 14 to January 14) and it will not happen immediately after the period was over. “The timing of the merger of Janata Parivar parties has nothing to do with Kharmas. We don’t know how a section of media arrived on the conclusion that we were waiting for this period to get over. Let me tell you that nothing will happen immediately after January 14,” Kumar added. Talks regarding the merger of six parties that came into existence after breaking away from Janata Dal formed by former Prime Minister V P Singh in 1988 started a couple of months ago. The six parties are JD(U), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Samajwadi Party (SP), Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), Janata Dal (Secular) and Samajwadi Janata Party (SJP) and Nitish Kumar is expected to lead it in Bihar.With regard to unification with RJD in Bihar, Kumar said leaders of both parties will either work together or decide over the future course of action. Speaking on the occasion, Singh said, “Our party leaders have put their stamp of approval on the merger and they have expressed satisfaction over its speed. They have also praised the role of Kumar in it and have asked him to take whatever steps that are needed.”The merger is being touted as an effort to take on the resurgent BJP after its coming to power at the Centre and notching strong performances in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections

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Merger of Janata Parivar parties on track says JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar