New parties in election fray

Trend to disturb vote bank

By Amit Bhelari
  • Published 17.06.15
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Sadhu Yadav and former minister Nagmani (centre) at the workers' meet of Gareeb Janata Dal Secular at Ravindra Bhavan in Patna on Tuesday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh

Patna, June 16: Patriotic songs like "Yeh desh hai veer jawano ka" and Gandhi's favourite "Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram, Patit Pawan Sita Ram" are tunes being played at the function of Anirudh Prasad Yadav, more popularly known as Sadhu Yadav, the controversial brother-in-law of RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

He is the person who once spelled terror for 15 long years during the Lalu-Rabri regime when Sadhu was "synonymous with law".

Once again, Sadhu is back in the news and has recently formed a political party Gareeb Janata Dal (Secular) and today he had organised the workers' meet at Rabindra Bhavan on its first foundation day.

With Assembly elections round the corner, new political parties are mushrooming with prominent in the race being former Union minister Nagmani, former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and dissident RJD MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav.

Asked about the role of his new party in the polls, Sadhu said: "Lalu and Nitish have united and people are searching of third option - we are the only alternative. I am not alone. There are like-minded people who will support us. It is on the people of state to choose the leader."

Sadhu was recently in news when Manjhi had visited his house to have dahi-chura (curd and beaten rice) leading to an uproar among the JDU leaders against Manjhi.

Posters and banners of these political parties are very mush visible on the streets of Patna with some even putting up huge hoardings as well.

Nagmani, the habitual party hopper who was earlier in the NCP, Congress, JDU, RJD, BJP and LJP, has formed Samras Samaj Party (SSP). In the past, he has changed political parties more than 10 times. The former parliamentarian is the son of late Jagdev Prasad, a legendary leader of backward classes in the 1960s-70s, who was mysteriously murdered.

He is infamous for rubbing shoulder with every political party and now he has decided to jump into the Assembly poll fray. His party did contest the recent Delhi poll but failed to gain a seat.

The trend of forming new political party ahead of elections is recently developed. However, they hardly make any difference in the vote share. For example, at least 70 unrecognised political parties contested the 2010 Assembly elections and their total vote share was 3.89 per cent.

Some of the unrecognised parties included Akhil Bharatiya Ashok Sena, Alpjan Samaj Party, Apna Dal, Garib Vikas Party, Pragatisheel Manav Samaj Party among others.

Speaking on the issue of his party's existence in the upcoming elections, Nagmani said: "My party is going to contest this Assembly elections and we all small parties would stand together. At any cost, we will not allow the leaders to ruin the state."

The only political party, which has done extremely well in recent years though it was new, is Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RSLP). He formed his party just before the Lok Sabha poll and managed to win all three Lok Sabha seats, which he was given in the alliance.

Manjhi and Pappu are in process to register their political party Hindustani Awam Morcha Secular (HAMS) and Jan Adhikar Morcha (JAM), respectively.

Veteran politician and former chief minister Jagannath Mishra said most of the time, new political parties emerging before the election do not have any identity and mainly contest elections to disturb the vote bank. " They only disturb a few thousand of votes and sometime, they work as helping elements for others but do not survive for long. Even voters do not take them seriously and their relevance is not recognised. Sometimes, the leader makes the difference like Pappu. He is a popular leader; he can made difference," said Mishra.

Another senior leader and former MP Shivanand Tiwari said the political parties emerged before elections do not have any ideology and principles. "This trend has recently started. Earlier, the political parties used to get established on the basis of ideology and principles, on the basis of that they used to go to the people to ask vote. Recently, the trend of forming new political parties has started. Now, the political parties are confined to caste and money. Nowadays those who have lot of money form a political party to get recognition in the society," said Tiwari.