JD-U chief to give a miss to Bharat Jodo Yatra

JD-U chief Lalan Singh

Janata Dal (United) president Rajiv Ranjan, alias Lalan Singh is likely to miss culmination of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra which is going to end in a week.

The announcement by the JD-U chief has evoked concerns among the leaders of Mahagathbandhan allies. The JD-U enjoys support of the grand old party after Nitish Kumar decided to switch side nearly a year ago to form government with his arch rival Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

Singh informed his counterpart in the grand old party it will not be possible for him to join the concluding ceremony of the nationwide march. “…Much as I’d like to be present at the historic event, I express my inability to do so, as I need to be present at the launching of the party’s election campaign at Wokha, Nagaland the same day,” the JD(U) leader communicated to Kharge, according to news agency ANI.

After this, it is not clear whether Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s outfit will send another representative, or skip the event altogether. The development, however, comes at a time when there is tension within the state’s ruling Mahagathbandhan, over remarks on Ramcharitmanas by RJD leader and education minister Chandra Shekhar, and senior JD(U) leader Upendra Kushwaha allegedly trying to join the BJP, according to Hindustan Times.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra’ which began on September 7 last year in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari, aims to unite India which, the Congress says, is facing crisis of all sorts, mainly growing religious divide.

After travelling through a dozen states and covering more than 3,000 kms, the march entered Jammu and Kashmir on January 19. Eight days earlier, party president Kharge had written to as many as twenty-one ‘like-minded’ parties, inviting them to join the conclusion of the Yatra, in Srinagar, reported the newspaper.


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