LAW KUMAR MISHRA
PATNA: RJD led by Lalu Prasad Yadav will expand its base in West Bengal by extending support to the TMC headed by Mamta Banerjee in the assembly elections.Preliminary talks have started in Kolkata on Sunday between two senior RJD leaders and TMC leaders.
Two senior RJD leaders,Abdul Bari Sidiqqui,a former leader of opposition and Shyam Rajak,vice-president met Prashant Kishore,election planner hired by TMC in Kolkata on Sunday.The two leaders from Patna have been given an appointment by the chief minister of West Bengal at 11 am on Monday.
The two leaders told this correspondent over phone from Kolkata that negotiations are at primary stage and any concrete decision would be taken after meeting with Mamta Banerjee.When asked whether RJD would contest the assembly elections in West Bengal,the two leaders said”We will submit our report to the party high-command and any decision would be taken by him.We would inform the leader of the opposition,Tejashwi Prasad Yadav too.”
Prashant Kishore had talked to Tejaswhi Yadav yesterday and requested him to send two leaders to Kolkata for talks with Mamta.TMC wants to utilise the support base of Lalu Prasad Yadav among the Muslims and Yadavas in the coming elections.Muslims who constitute 30 per cent of the total electorate in West Bengal play a major role in deciding the political fortunes of the candidates,In some of the constitutencies like Murshibad,they constitute 51 pc,North Dinajpur 50 pc,Birbhum 37 pc,South Parganas 36 pc.
Akhilesh Prasad Yadav,president of Samajwadi party has declared SP support to TMC in the elections and announced he would campaign there.With the RJD too coming in support of Mamta Banerjee,the TMC can expect to have inroads into the Yadav vote bank. Mamta Banerjee wants to keep her support base among the Muslims intact and expand it by including the Yadavs,who are considered trusted supporters of Lalu.In the constitutencies adjoining Bihar and Jharkhand,there are many constitutencies dominated by both Muslims and Yadavs.
Sidiqqui said they have come to Kolkata on the suggestion of Tejaswhi Yadav with the approval of party president,Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Though admitted in the AIIMS,New Delhi,Lalu is taking interest in political developments in West Bengal,according to Shyam Rajak.He said”:Lalu ji wants anti-BJP votes are not divided,hence RJD would support TMC”.