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January 6, 2000
Samata Party breaks away from JD (U)
The three-party combine under the Janata Dal (United) umbrella fell apart today when one of its constituent - the Samata Party - decided to go it alone in the forthcoming Bihar assembly elections.
The three parties - the Samata Party, the Lok Shakti and the Janata Dal (U) - were scheduled to merge formally today, almost three months after they came together in an informal arrangement just before the Lok Sabha elections in October last year.
The Samata Party executive took the decision today following a dispute over who would head the combine. While the Samata Party wanted its chief and Defence Minister George Fernandes to head the group, the Janata Dal (U) leader Sharad Yadav apparently refused to give up the overall control.
Talking to newspersons after the meeting, Fernandes said the coordinatioin between JD (U) constituents would, however, continue in Parliament. He also revealed that his party would enter into an understanding with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Bihar.
The third player in the game - the Lok Shakti headed by Ramakrishna Hegde - has already decided to continue its association with the Janata Dal.
A resolution adopted at the Samata Party executive today also spoke of the fiasco in recent elections held in Karnataka where differences between the Lok Shakti and the Janata Dal (United) led to an easy victory for the Congress.
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