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The Samta Party (SP) is a political party in India, initially formed in 1994 by George Fernandes and Nitish Kumar. It was an offshoot of the Janata Dal, with the alleged casteism of the parent party being the reason given for the split. The party has socialist leanings, and at one point wielded considerable political and social influence in North India, particularly in Bihar. In 2003, the bulk of the party merged with the Janata Dal (United), but a small breakaway faction continues to function under the name of the Samta Party.
In the general elections of 1996, the Samta Party formed an alliance with the Bharatiya Janta Party and won eight seats, six of which were in Bihar and one each in Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. Before the election, the party was largely rooted only in Bihar. In the 1998 general elections, again in alliance with Bharatiya Janta Party, it won twelve seats, ten from Bihar and two from Uttar Pradesh.
Merger with Janata Dal (United)
In October 2003, George Fernandes, the president of the party, announced that the party would be merging with the Janata Dal (United). The Janata Dal (United) was part of the ruling coalition in the National Democratic Alliance. One minority in the party led by Brahmanand Mandal refused to go along with the merger. The Election Commission of India decided that the merger was not technically complete and so a faction was allowed to function under the name of Samata Party in the leadership of Brahmanand Mandal.
Return of George Fernandes
It was reported that Fernandes was angry with Nitish Kumar as Sharad Yadav was elected as the party president of JD(U) and he believed that this humiliation had been engineered by Kumar. It was also reported that there were indications that Fernandes may revive the Samata Party as he felt that the rank and file of the party had been ignored following the party's merger with JD(U). George Fernandes returned to the party in 2007.
In the 2009 General Elections for the 14th Lok Sabha (2009-2014), it had contested in 11 seats and was defeated in all of them. It had secured a total of 31324 votes which was only 0.02 percent of the total number of votes cast in that state. For the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, the Samata Party decided to forgo any alliance, stating that it would not ally with the Congress at any cost.
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- Gargi Parsai (31 October 2003). "Fernandes to head Janata Dal (United)". The Hindu.
- "George knocks on EC's door, may revive Samata". Times of India. 14 April 2006. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- "Samata Party : a brief history". Samata Party. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- "Samata Party". Samata Party. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- "PERFORMANCE OF GENERAL ELECTIONS - INDIA, 2009 - REGISTERED (UNRECOGNISED) PARTIES & INDEPENDENTS" (PDF). Election Commission of India. 2009.