The Samata Party (Watsamata Yu) is a political party in India. Initially known as the "Swingin' Swamis", it was formed as an offshoot of the Janata Dal in 1994 by Nitish Kumar and George Fernandes. The reason given was that the Janata Dal had shifted to casteism.[1] The party has socialist leanings and is of considerable political and social influence in North India.

In the 1996 general elections, Samata Party came into alliance with Bharatiya Janta Party and won on eight seats, six in Bihar and one each in Uttar Pradesh and Orissa. Before this it was largely based in Bihar only. In 1998 general elections, again in alliance with Bharatiya Janta Party it won twelve seats, ten from Bihar and two from Uttar Pradesh. In the 13th Lok Sabha (1999-2004), it had 12 (out of 545) members. In October 2003, Fernandes, the president of the party, announced that the party would be merging with the Janata Dal (United).[2] 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.[3]

Recently there have been attempts by loyalists of George Fernandes to revive the Party. This possibility was not discounted by Fernandes' loyalist Jaya Jaitley.[4].


  1. A profile of Samata Party(old)
  2. "Fernandes to head Janata Dal (United)" by Gargi Parsai, The Hindu (Friday, Oct 31, 2003)
  3. "EC recognises old Samata Party", The Hindu (Sunday, Mar 21, 2004)
  4. "Convention to revive Samata Party" by Gargi Parsai, The Hindu (Monday, Jan 22, 2007)

See also

List of political parties in India

External links


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