New Delhi: The much-talked-about merger of Janata Parivar could be announced next week as most of the major issues have been ironed out, Janata Dal (United) on Sunday said.

“The merger is bound to happen and it will happen sooner than later," JD(U) president Sharad Yadav told PTI.

Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose party has the largest number of MPs in Parliament among this group, will be the chairman of the new umbrella party, the sources said.

In the Lok Sabha, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has five members, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) -four, and JD(U), Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) two each. In total they have 15 members in the Lower House. While in the Rajya Sabha, the SP leads the pack with 15 members, the JD(U) has 12 and INLD, JD(S) and RJD one each. Their total number in the Upper House is 30.

JD(U) general secretary K.C. Tyagi said that SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav will finalize the merger plan in a day or two after talking INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala and JD(S) chief and former prime minister H.D. Devegowda as a consensus has already been arrived among SP, JD(U) and RJD over the issue.

“An announcement is likely to be made next week starting Monday. In a day or two Mulayam Singh ji will call a meeting of all constituents of the erstwhile Janata Parivar. There are now no differences on party flag, symbol or manifesto. All major issues have been resolved. Some minor details will be worked out in a day or two," Tyagi said.

He said the issue was discussed threadbare at a meeting chaired by the SP chief here on Friday, which was attended by RJD chief Lalu Prasad, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. RJD leader Prem Chand Gupta and K.C.Tyagi were also present in the meeting.

Kumar was in the capital on Thursday and Friday during which he met Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence, Om Prakash Chautala in Tihar jail, Mulayam Singh Yadav thrice at his residence and Lalu Prasad.

With their back to the wall after the Narendra Modi juggernaut decimated them particularly JD(U), RJD and SP in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the six constituents of the Janata Parivar, including INLD, JDS and Samajwadi Janata Party, decided to turn the clock back and come together to fight a resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

After a series of meetings among their leaders, they had formally authorised SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to work out the broad outlines of merger December last year.

The parties erstwhile part of Janata Party had unseated the Indira Gandhi-led Congress from power in 1977 and they have come together and fallen apart a number of times in past under different nomenclatures.

“The merger process is on the right track and I think it will not take much time," Kumar had said in Patna on Saturday.