JD(U) plunges into Gujarat election battle

Nitish Kumar

By Yogesh Sharma

On the first day of filing of nominations for Gujarat Assembly elections today, Janata Dal (U) announced that it is very much in Gujarat and will have its more than 70 candidates. Making this announcement its national general secretary Akhilesh Katiyar admitted that it has yet to select its state president and other office bearers and also the candidates.

He said that the name of the state president would be announced on November 18.  He said that he was in the state for last five days and was interacting with people who were with JD(U) when Chhotu Vasava was president. However, after split in the party at national level much of its Gujarat unit is in disarray as Vasava was no more with JD(U). With him much of the earlier set up has gone.

He said that it was yet not decided whether Nitish Kumar would campaign for JD(U) in Gujarat or not but state unit would send a request to him to campaign for JD(U) candidates. He said party would contest on Bihar model.

Katiyar said that organizational set up was not a big problem and it would be streamlined during Gujarat election. Party will repeat most of the candidates who had contested in 2012. It is a fact that only Chhotubhai Vasava had won in 2012 election and Sharad Yadav has appointed him president of the faction headed by him.

Katiyar said that party will field candidates for all seats of south Gujarat. Gujarat is having elections in two phases and south Gujarat is in phase one for which nomination filing began today.  Katiyar is very hopeful of good performance of the party in the elections. His optimism is based on 650 sarpanch who were elected on JD(U) symbol in last panchayat elections.

He said that party would fight on its own without any tie up with in any party. To a question he said that Party would not play B party to anyone. If it wins seats in good number in elections, decision  to support Congress or BJP would be taken by the party leadership.