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Is Nitish Kumar Under Pressure To Merge JDU With RJD?

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is under pressure to merge his party Janata Dal United (JDU) with his new coalition partner Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). At its national executive meeting in Delhi early this week the RJD passed a resolution to change its name and symbol. The move is being seen as the RJD setting the stage for its likely merger with JDU, which would mean Tejashwi Yadav holding the reins in Bihar while Nitish moves on to play a role in national politics. Apparently resolution for change in the name of RJD or its electoral symbol ( hurricane lantern] and allied issues vested powers with national president Lalu Prasad Yadav or Tejashwi Yadav, was read out by Lalu’s trusted aide Bhola Yadav. Interestingly, the resolution was put in place before Lalu Prasad left for Singapore for kidney related treatment. The merger resolution caught RJD leaders by surprise as it was not on the agenda and came up suddenly. The RJD’s main argument for the merger is that Nitish will have support of a strong political base when he goes to Delhi. The Yadavs also feel it will be the best way to ensure that Nitish doesn’t go back to the NDA. So far JDU has not officially spoken about the merger talk. BJP leader Sushil Modi says “Nitish Kumar has no other option”. The RJD and JDU’s combined tally is 125 in the 243-member assembly.