New Delhi, Jan. 29: Nitish Kumar is working towards a wider national alliance with the Left, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and other non-Congress and non-BJP parties to take on both the BJP and the RJD-Congress-LJP block ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
A meeting of these parties is scheduled for February 3 in Delhi to work out a seat-sharing arrangement as well as formation of a “parliamentary block” or a “federal front”, bearing an uncanny similarity to what is popularly known as a third front. Apart from the four Left parties, SP and the JD(U), other prominent members in this block are the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), AIADMK and JD(S).
The JD(U) and SP would not have a seat-sharing arrangement but extend support to each other in the respective states. “SP and JD(U) will join hands to aid each other. Sharadji and Nitishji will help the SP in Uttar Pradesh, while Mulayam Singh Yadav will return the help in Bihar,” JD(U) spokesman K.C. Tyagi told The Telegraph.
Nitish Kumar would possibly use Mulayam, a prominent Yadav leader, to blunt the appeal of political rival Lalu Prasad among the Yadavs and the Muslims. He would return the favour by asking his castemen, the Kurmis, in UP to back Mulayam.
The JD(U), however, plans to share some seats with the two Left parties — CPI and CPM — in Bihar. Party leaders said they have asked the Left leaders to identify the seats they want to contest and it would be considered.
“There will be a seat-sharing arrangement but talks are at a very initial stage. We have asked the Left leaders to identify the seats they would like to contest,” said Tyagi.
Paswan calls Sonia
LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan today called on Sonia Gandhi and urged her to take the lead in the seat-sharing arrangement with the RJD, as he feared that Lalu Prasad would deny him a due share.
Paswan, accompanied by son Chirag Paswan, who is gearing up to take over the reins of the LJP, was learnt to have told Sonia that he did not want to talk to Lalu as he was not comfortable with the alliance. “Our alliance is with the Congress and not with the RJD,” said an LJP leader reflecting the sense Paswan communicated to Sonia.