Date:07/03/2009 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030760711200.htm
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National

Jan Morcha merges with LJP

Gargi Parsai

— Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Lok Jan Shakti Party president Ramvilas Paswan (left) with Jan Morcha leader Ajay Pratap Singh, who merged his party with Lok Janshakti Party in New Delhi on Friday.

NEW DELHI: The former Prime Minister, V.P. Singh’s Jan Morcha on Friday merged with Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) here.

Announcing the merger, Mr. Paswan said Mr. V.P. Singh’s son Ajay Pratap Singh — who heads the Jan Morcha — will be the party’s candidate from Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh. He appealed to all United Progressive Alliance members to support the candidature of Mr. Ajay Pratap Singh from a constituency held by his father twice.

Mr. Ajay Pratap Singh was made senior vice-president of the LJP, while general secretary of Jan Morcha, Vinod Singh, was made all-India general secretary.

Expressing happiness at the merger, Mr. Paswan said the Jan Morcha and the LJP will take forward the socialist movement launched by Mr. V.P. Singh.

Mr. Ajay Pratap Singh, who shared the dais with Mr. Paswan, said: “I have been away from politics but Mr. Paswan has been with my father in all his struggles for social justice, for minorities, farmers and poor. I am now with Mr. Paswan to fulfil my father’s dream.”

He claimed that his father wanted to make Mr. Paswan the president of the Janata Dal but could not do it.

Mr. Vinod Singh said a function would be held here soon to formalise the merger.

On pre-poll alliances for the Lok Sabha elections, Mr. Paswan said his party would hold talks with the Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders “either today or tomorrow.” He, however, asserted that his party would put up candidates for 16 seats in Bihar. In the 2004 elections, the LJP had contested eight seats of which it won four. The RJD had got a major share of the 40 seats. The Congress got four.

Bihar unit chief of the LJP, Pashupati Kumar Paras, however, indicated that if seat--sharing talks for the State did not succeed, the LJP would contest all the 40 seats.

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