Janata Dal is an Indian political party which was formed through the merger of Janata Party factions, the Lok Dal, Congress(S), and the Jan Morcha led by V. P. Singh on 11 October 1988 on the birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan.
It first came to power in 1989, after allegations of corruption, known as the Bofors scandal, caused Rajiv Gandhi's Congress (I) to lose the elections. The National Front coalition that was formed consisted of the Janata Dal and a few smaller parties in the government, and had outside support from the Left Front and the Bharatiya Janata Party. V. P. Singh was the Prime Minister. In November 1990, this coalition collapsed, and a new government headed by Chandra Shekhar under Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya) which had the support of the Congress came to power for a short while.
Its second spell of power began in 1996, when the Janata Dal-led United Front coalition came to power, with outside support from the Congress under Sitaram Kesri, choosing H. D. Deve Gowda as their Prime Minister. The Congress withdrew their support in less than a year, hoping to gain power with the support of various United Front constituent groups, and I. K. Gujral became the next Prime Minister. His government too fell in a few months, and in February 1998, the Janata Dal-led coalition lost power to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
This party has had several splits. Amongst the larger splinter groups include the Rashtriya Janata Dal (which ruled the state of Bihar), Samajwadi Party (ruling the state of Uttar Pradesh), Biju Janata Dal (governing Odisha), Janata Dal (Secular) (which ruled the state of Karnataka) and the Janata Dal (United), (currently ruling Bihar and whose leader George Fernandes was the Defense Minister of India) and Samajwadi Janta Party (R) headed by Chandra Shekhar is the only faction having some national image. Several smaller splinter groups also exist, including Lok Janshakti Party and Janata Party.
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