With Congress keen on tying up with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is likely to forge a non-Congress and non-BJP front by bringing together the remaining groups of the old ‘janata parivar,’ ‘before or after’ the Lok Sabha elections.
Kumar said he would initially make efforts to rope in Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) in the proposed federation. And if the move becomes successful, the scope of expanding the front for Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal, Left parties and AIADMK’s J Jayalalithaa.
Kumar is expected to meet prominent leaders of the Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal (S) during his visit to New Delhi on February 9-10 to work out a strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
The leaders intend to create a parliamentary block and coordinate within Parliament before the coming session.
“The Left parties have taken an initiative to form a block in Parliament. The JD(U) is only supporting the move. The Left front has understanding with different parties in several states. There is not talk of third or fourth front but talks are on for a parliamentary block,” he said.
Dismissing the buzz about favouring the BJP, Kumar said there was a bigger force than them in the country, which was not visible. “Efforts will be made to bring together all such parties, which were earlier part of the erstwhile Janata Dal parivar and are potent enough in their respective states,” he said.
Kumar said a parliamentary block of different parties would be formed first and then it could be taken forward in the shape of a federation. “We are not talking about mergers or even an alliance but understanding of like-minded parties. We will meet and decide whether to go for a pre-poll or post-poll alliance. We are at the very initial stages. It can take any shape,” he said.
To a question whether all other non-Congress and non-BJP groups would be part of the federation, he said efforts would be made to have maximum possible unity so that the formation could get the required number. “All cannot come together. Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati cannot join hands. Mamata Bannerjee and Left are at odss too. But the Left parties have cordial relationship with Naveen Patnaik,” he said.
Kumar’s move to establish a federation of political forces is a step forward to the convention of anti-communal parties held on October 30 last year in New Delhi. The chief minister, who had attended the meet, had called for the “widest possible” unity of democratic forces to counter communalism.