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Nitish hints at CPI tie-up

Patna, Feb. 3: Nitish Kumar today hinted about the possibility of a JD(U)-Left tie-up with a hope that a “broader block” of the non-Congress and non-BJP political parties would take shape at the Wednesday Delhi meeting.

“If the JD(U) strikes an electoral alliance in Bihar, it will be with the Left, particularly the CPI. Initial talks have taken place on the issue. But the JD(U)-Left alliance is yet to take a final shape,” the chief minister told reporters on the sidelines of his weekly janata durbar here.

Nitish said the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) of Babulal Marandi, Biju Janata Dal of Naveen Patnaik, Asom Gana Parishad were among several other parties scheduled to attend the Wednesday conclave to give a shape to the idea of what he descried as the “broader block”.

In the context of Bihar, Nitish said neither the BJP nor the Congress would gain anything in the state.

The BJP, however, rejected the idea outright. “The third front or fresh front is already a failed idea. Every general election precedes the so-called coming up of a third front-like formation that peters out soon after the polls,” BJP general secretary in charge of Bihar affairs, Dharmendra Pradhan said.

Pradhan described the fresh front as the “B-team” of the Congress. “The very idea of a fresh front is incredible. Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav is still supporting the UPA-II. The Nitish government survives on the Congress’s support in Bihar. How can they (Nitish and Mulayam) describe themselves as credible non-Congress force? Their primary goal to check Narendra Modi from becoming Prime Minister, which will not work,” Pradhan said.

The Congress, too, has already rejected the idea of such a front.

While hoping that the broader non-Congress and non-BJP block would take shape on Wednesday, Nitish also admitted some parties were there who could not join the new block because of some practical problems.

There were troubles in the way of all the non-Congress and non-BJP parties coming together.

He was, apparently, referring towards the situation in Uttar Pradesh and Bengal. While Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party could not come together in UP, the Trinamul Congress and the Left are too adrift to come together in Bengal.

Nitish sounded almost sure of his party’s success in the general elections. “We are highly encouraged to the see the response of the people at our meetings. We do not expect any sort of trouble in the way of our electoral success. The BJP and Congress will not succeed here despite their bragging.”

Nitish also refused to attach importance to the Centre’s decision to increase the number of cooking gas cylinders to the customers and bring down the prices of CNG. “Such decisions taken as the last minute will not work,” he said.