Janata Parivar announces merger, Mulayam to lead the alliance

After weeks of discussions, leaders of six Janata Parivar parties announced their decision to merge into one party on Wednesday.

With 30 MPs, the new party will be the third largest party only behind the Congress (68) and the BJP (47) in the Rajya Sabha, where the NDA government continues to be in a minority. In the Lower House, the party will have 15 MPs, making it the eighth largest party in the House. 

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh will head the party and the parliamentary board. The name, flag, symbol, policy and party programme will be finalised by a six-member committee later. While the Mulayam will head the committee, its members will be H.D. Deve Gowda (Janata Dal-S), Sharad Yadav (Janata Dal-United), Om Prakash Chautala (Indian National Lok Dal) , Kamal Morarka (Samajwadi Janata Party) and Ram Gopal Yadav (SP).

The new alliance party will deploy its numbers effectively against the government on the floor of the Rajya Sabha to differentiate itself politically from the BJP. And with six entities in one group, the union government will find it that much harder to offer allurements to one or the other in return for support to difficult legislation.