The Telegraph
Tuesday , June 17 , 2014
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Nitish works secular trio

New Delhi, June 16: Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal (United) today appealed to Trinamul, Samajwadi Party and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) to join hands against the Modi government’s alleged attempt to interfere and create an “artificial crisis” in non-BJP states.

“Since the BJP government has taken power at the Centre, there is regular interference in Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar…. If this kind of attitude does not stop, then we will ask all regional parties to join hands to oppose the dirty designs of the BJP government,” JD(U) secretary general K.C. Tyagi said.

The appeal carried echoes of the call by Trinamul chief Mamata Banerjee for a federal front against the Congress-led UPA government’s plan for an anti-terror hub that she claimed undermined the powers of states.

The Bengal chief minister hasn’t taken kindly to the Modi government either, concerned at the BJP’s poll gains in the state and upset by the visits of party teams to violence zones.

In the Bihar context, Tyagi’s appeal came days after former chief minister and JD(U) heavyweight Nitish Kumar reached out to Lalu Prasad, his principal opponent, and sought support to defeat the BJP in this week’s Rajya Sabha elections to two seats from the state.

Nitish, who had a bitter parting with the BJP last year over Modi, suspects the Centre would destabilise his party’s government and has accused the former ally of fomenting dissidence.

But the JD(U) appeal to Mamata stood out for another reason. The party had an informal tie-up with the Left — it had not fielded candidates against the CPI in a few Bihar seats — before the Lok Sabha polls. But now, after the polls, the JD(U) feels it needs Mamata, whose party is the fourth largest in the Lok Sabha, to fight the BJP.

“Earlier, the BJP tried hard to win over Trinamul to muster numbers in the Rajya Sabha but when they failed, this kind of interference started happening in the state (Bengal),” Tyagi said. The BJP lacks a majority in the upper House.

The JD(U) believes if the Samajwadi, Trinamul and Odisha’s ruling BJD — join hands, they can fight the Modi government.

“In the elections, Narendra Modi gave the slogan of ‘Congress-mukt Bharat (Congress-free India)’ but now it looks like the new government has come with a new programme, ‘Opposition mukt Bharat (Opposition-free India)’,” Tyagi said.

JD(U) leaders have already met Samajwadi chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose party’s government in Uttar Pradesh is under central glare over spiralling law-and-order problems.