18 April, New Delhi
Samajwadi Party leaders have expressed happiness over the merger of Janata Pariwar and claimed that there was no confusion over the leadership, particularly in the Rajya Sabha.
Partys national general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Kironmoy Nanda said here that Ram Gopal Yadav should be the leader of unified political force in the Rajya Sabha.
There were reports that after the unification of the Janata Pariwar, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav could be the leader in the Upper House which had irked the SP leaders.
The leader of new political entity in Rajya Sabha should be the man who has been there in that House for the longest period of time. Sharad Yadav is no doubt a senior leader but Ram Gopal Yadav should be the leader of the new political entity in the Rajya Sabha as he is the oldest member of the House, Nanda said.
He, however, clarified that this was his personal view as the party has not taken a stand on this issue till date.
The SP leaders here feel losing leadership status would be a big loss to the party as SP was the largest party in the Rajya Sabha among the six parties that announced merger early this week.
The six parties that merged are Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata dal (U), Janata Dal (S), Indian National Lok Dal and Samajwadi Janata Party. Mulayam Singh has been declared the leader of the new parivar. Name and flag of the party would be announced later.
The new political alliance has 15 seats in Lok Sabha with Samajwadi Party having 5 seats followed by RJD four. Other three partners JD (U), Janata Dal (S) and INLD have two seats each. In Rajya Sabha, the alliance has 30 seats. Again, the SP is leading the group with 15 seats followed by JD (U) 12.
Seniority counts everywhere. So, in Rajya Sabha too, Ram Gopal Yadav should be the leader of Janata parivar, Nanda said, adding that the new political dispensation would give opportunity to all the secular forces to unite.
With the decimation of Congress post Lok Sabha elections, it was important for secular parties to unite. The Samajwadi Party is a national party and its stature will go up with unification of like-minded parties, he said.