Once again the emergence of a united Janata Party looks a remote possibility with Nitish Kumar falling victim to Yadav politics played by Samajwadi leader Mulayam Singh Yadav. The flip flop merger show has brought the Yadav chieftain once again to lime light when he went with the wishes of his ‘foe turned Samdhi’ Lalu Prasad Yadav. The move is seen to help Lalu Yadav avenge Nitish for the humiliation over 15 years. Mulayam is famous for playing shrewd games when it comes to safeguarding self-interest. Way back in 1999 Mulayam joined the secular opposition in bringing down Vajpayee Government but refused to support Congress for the fear of party’s revival in Uttar Pradesh. Even Mamata Banerjee also tasted the falvour of Yadav politics and now it is Nitish. The constituents of the proposed Janata Parivar include Janata Dal-Secular, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal-United, Indian National Lok Dal and Samajwadi Janata Party. This unification looks as the last pitched battle to take on not only Bharatiya Janata Party’s growing popularity but also the growing stature of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The emergence of five-in-one party itself is combination of divisive forces which never stood together even in the worst of the political time and the longevity of the new political party, whatever shape it may take, would depend on how it performs in the upcoming Bihar elections which are scheduled in October-November. Its biggest challenge would be to stop BJP from winning a substantial number of seats and gaining power in Bihar. The Congress is already part of the existing alliance between JD(U) and RJD in Bihar and Jharkhand. A merger of this kind is taking place for the first time since 1988 when Janata Dal was formed through the merger of Janata Party factions – Lok Dal, Congress (S) and VP Singh’s Jan Morcha. Since then, Janata Dal subsequently splintered into SJP, SP, BJD, INLD, RLD, RJD, JD(U), LJP and others. Faced with a challenge from Devi Lal, VP Singh had then brought out the Mandal Commission recommendations (reservations for backward, scheduled caste, OBCs) thereby allowing Lalu, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav and others to subsequently thrive on ‘Mandalite politics’.