An apparent conflict of interest has ended the alliance between Samajwadi Party and the newly-found Janata Parivar on Thursday. Clearing the air, SP has revealed its intent to contest the Bihar elections independently.
“We will fight the election independently and with our full might,” said SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav. Neither BJP chief Amit Shah nor Prime Minister Narendra Modi was consulted to deliberate on the decision, he added.
On being asked about their future plans, Yadav said, “We will definitely meet the Prime Minister whenever there is an administrative need or for (financial assistance) for the state.”
The party’s Bihar unit will be preparing a list of candidates for the upcoming elections, he said.
Chastising SP’s opportunistic stance, a Bihar BJP legislator Arun Sinha said, “The act of Samajwadi Party shows how desperate and over ambitious the parties were in the alliance. All of them had come together just for the sake of their personal benefits.”
Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United and Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal came together to form the Janata Parivar along with Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi party; the block initially started as a anti-Modi block.
The Janata Parivar came into existence with a purport to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party that had fared well in a series of state polls in Bihar.
Besides Samajwadi Party, the other Janata Parivar constituents include Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Janata Dal (Secular), the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Samajwadi Janata Party (Chandra Shekhar).
The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.
Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.
This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.
The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.
The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.
In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.
Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.
Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.
The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.
BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.
There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.
The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.
As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.
BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.
Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.
Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.