Jayant Chaudhary confirms RLD switch to NDA, deals opposition alliance a body blow | India News

NEW DELHI: Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary on Monday confirmed that his party would join BJP-led NDA, asserting that the decision was unanimous.
“I took this decision after speaking to all MLAs and workers of my party. There was no big planning behind this decision, or had we decided this a long time ago. We had to take this decision within a short time because of the situation. We want to do something good for the country, for our people,” Chaudhary told reporters here in what marked another setback to INDIA bloc.
Chaudhary said the consultations with MLAs and workers took place after his grandfather Chaudhary Charan Singh was recently bestowed Bharat Ratna. He denied that there were misgivings in the party over the move which saw him coming under attack in Rajya Sabha on Saturday from leader of opposition & Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and his colleague, former Union minister Jairam Ramesh.
“If someone is reporting that, I don’t think they have talked to the MLAs. I talked to MLAs and workers and made a decision,” Chaudhary said.
The formal declaration of his switch to NDA coincided with growing indications that Congress was planning to curtail the UP leg of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra and would skip large parts of western UP where RLD has pockets of influence.
Though Chaudhary and BJP made no formal announcement, both sides gave ample hints about RLD switching to NDA since February 9, when Charan Singh was named for the country’s highest civilian award.
“We have good intentions for our people and country. When the Bharat Ratna has been given, we are very happy. It is not limited to our family or party. It is an honour for every farmer, youth, poor,” Chaudhary said on the sidelines of an event to mark the birth anniversary of his father Ajit Singh.
“Dil jeet liya” (you have won our hearts),” Chaudhary had posted on X after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Bharat Ratna for Charan Singh.
The RLD chief also slammed the critics for saying it was part of a deal to switch to NDA, saying such remarks belittled the former Prime Minister’s legacy.


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