Sharad Yadav said all like-minded parties should come together to build up a strong opposition. (File)

New Delhi:

Former Union minister Sharad Yadav announced on Wednesday that his party Loktantarik Janata Dal will merge with Rashtriya Janata Dal on March 20 as part of his efforts to unite various offshoots of the erstwhile Janata Dal.

Keeping low for health reasons, Sharad Yadav’s decision to merge his party, which could never make its presence felt since its launch after he parted ways with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), marks his coming together with Lalu Prasad Yadav after more than three decades, with both leaders seen to be at a fag end of their political career.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav had quit Janata Dal in 1997 to form his own party over his differences with its leadership as the probe against fodder scam, in which he was a main accused, gathered pace. Sharad Yadav was then seen as his rival within the Janata Dal, and he later joined with Nitish Kumar to end RJD’s 15-year reign in Bihar in 2005.

“This step (merger) has been necessitated as an initiative of my regular efforts for bringing together scattered Janata parivar in view of the current political situation in the country,” Sharad Yadav (74) said in a statement, claiming the BJP government has been a failure and people are looking for a strong opposition.

Noting that the Janata Dal alone had 143 seats in Lok Sabha in 1989, he said the agenda for social justice has lost its pace with the disintegration of the party over the years, and this needs to be revived, he said. Sharad Yadav’s daughter had fought the 2020 assembly polls in Bihar on a RJD ticket but lost.

The need of the hour is that all like-minded parties should come together to build up strong opposition, Sharad Yadav said.