Lalu and Mulayam all set to seal political partnership with matrimonial alliance

SP chief Mulayam Yadav's grand-nephew Tej Pratap and RJD supremo Lalu Yadav's youngest daughter Raj Lakshmi are set to tie the knot early next year.

FP Politics November 28, 2014 14:05:49 IST
Lalu and Mulayam all set to seal political partnership with matrimonial alliance

Like the Mughal rulers of India, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad Yadav are getting ready for a matrimonial alliance that may not only revive prospects of a political joint venture between their parties but also bury the acrimonious past between the two leaders. According to various reports, SP chief Mulayam Singh's grand-nephew Tej Pratap and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad's youngest daughter Raj Lakshmi are set to tie the knot early next year, following a grand engagement ceremony this December.

Lalu and Mulayam all set to seal political partnership with matrimonial alliance

Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav. Reuters

Tej Pratap has just entered Lok Sabha from the family stronghold of Mainpuri after Mulayam vacated the seat. His proposed marriage with Lalu's daughter is being seen as a the final leap of faith by the two Yadavs who are planning to join hands and revive the erstwhile Janata Dal to take on the BJP.

According to this Times of India report, their marriage could well put an end to the bitter past the two rivals politicians - who were once part of a grand alliance - have had.

While the matrimonial merger seems almost certain, the political merger, if through, could well help turn the Janata Dal - a political alliance then comprising the Samajwadi Party, RJD, JD(U), JD(S) and the BJD - into a strong regional alliance.

The Lalu-Mulayam combine could help revive the glory of their parties in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which together comprise 120 seats in Lok Sabha, but demolished both the SP and RJD in the recent Lok Sabha elections. While the SP Party is still ruling the Uttar Pradesh state Assembly, the party put up a dismal performance in the general elections winning just 5 of the 80 seats - down 18 from 2009. In Bihar, the RJD was been reduced to a moderate political force. Many analysts fear that in the 2015 Assembly polls, the RJD may suffer huge losses if the 'secular' forces do not join hands.

And there could be hope for the regional parties if they agree to unite.

In the Bihar by-polls held earlier this year, the RJD-JD(U)-Congress combine won 6 of the 10 seats, after arch-rivals Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad campaigned for their candidates together. It was the first time the two leaders shared a stage since a gap of 20 years. They had last campaigned together in the 1991 Lok Sabha polls. And, with polls due in Bihar mid next year, regional parties are keen on putting up a united front to take on the 'Modi wave' that swept the states of Haryana and Maharashtra.

Earlier this month, a RJD leader close to Lalu told IANS: "After results of Haryana and Maharashtra assembly polls, Lalu Prasad and JD-U president Sharad Yadav and former chief minister Nitish Kumar have agreed in principle to merge the two parties to take on the BJP." Nitish could well be the face of the alliance given that Lalu is still not acceptable to the upper class strata of society.

The two Yadav leaders, who were once allies and icons of Mandal politics during the late 80s and throughout the 90s, are hoping that an alliance may turn them into a formidable force in the two states since it will position them as the BJP's biggest rival, especially with the decline in the Congress' fortunes.

The two Yadavs were part of the grand alliance put together by VP Singh in the 80s against Rajiv Gandhi's Congress. But they fell apart later due to politicial compulsions and personal egoes. Their relation suffered the most when Mulayam accused Lalu of blocking his chances of becoming the Prime Minsiter in 1997.

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