Bihar polls: Raghunath Jha, Munna Singh join SP

Senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former Union minister Raghunath Jha and Janata Dal (United) MLC Munna Singh, both from Bihar, today joined the Samajwadi Party.

The two leaders asserted that they will strengthen the third alternative in the Bihar assembly elections. Mr Raghunath Jha and Mr Munna Singh, the JD (MLC) from Aurangabad, are likely to contest the Bihar assembly polls on SP ticket.

Both the leaders joined the party in presence of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and other senior leaders at the state party headquarters here. Samajwadi Party, along with Samajwadi Janata Dal-Democratic (SJD-D), Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) and the National Peoples Party (NPP) of P A Sangma have made a socialist front for the Bihar polls.

SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav said that tomorrow in Patna, the alliance would announce the names of the candidates for the first phase and name the rest very soon thereafter. "There would be no chief ministerial candidate projection in the Bihar polls by this front," he told media persons here while parrying questions on moves by the front to decide on the post-poll strategy.

Asked about the reason to depart from the 'Mahagathbandhan' (Grand Alliance), Mr Yadav flatly said, "We knew about their conspiracy against us, hence we decided to forge an alternative socialist front."

The SP leader said their front would do extremely well in the elections and emerge as a third alternative in Bihar. He also denied the allegation that the SP was helping the BJP and its alliance in Bihar elections by contesting the polls.

Former Union minister and five-time MP from Bihar Devendra Prasad Yadav, who was also present on the occasion as the chief of SJD-D, affirmed that this front will end the dreams of the two big alliances of gaining power when they have done nothing for Bihar during the past 25 years.

Mr Raghunath Jha said he had parted ways with RJD as Mr Lalu Prasad had ditched him and the people of Bihar. "I supported Mr Prasad as the chief minister of Bihar but he conspired against me," he added. He asserted that after Jayaprakash Narayan and Ram Manohar Lohia, Mulayam Singh Yadav was the only socialist leader of the country.

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