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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

Nitish may be Third Front’s answer to BJP on Oct 30

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  Patna/New Delhi, October 29, 2013
First Published: 00:55 IST(29/10/2013) | Last Updated: 00:59 IST(29/10/2013)

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is likely to be projected as the Third Front answer to BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at the Left-sponsored October 30 convention of ‘non-Congress secular parties’.

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The conclave will also send out a significant political message in the run-up to the 2014 general elections, as parties that have either been a part of the BJP-led NDA — or which were being viewed as the BJP’s potential allies in the post-poll scenario – will be represented.

Such parties include the AGP, AIADMK and JVP. “The latest to confirm his participation is AGP leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta”, JD (U) spokesman KC Tyagi said.

“The involvement and participation of such a wide spectrum of political leaders vindicates the JD(U) decision to break ties with the BJP after the anointment of Narendra Modi as the party’s prime ministerial candidate”, Tyagi said, adding that even Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress had supported the initiative to organise the New Delhi conclave.

A JD(U) leader maintained that any alternative political formation will take shape only after the election. The purpose of this convention is to bring together those parties that believe in “inclusive politics”.

As the JD(U) is actively involved in making the Delhi convention a success, party’s top leaders on Monday deliberated upon the future course of strategy to be adopted in the next Lok Sabha elections at its two-day “chintan shivir” which began at Rajgir.  Party sources said issues like going for an alliance with the Congress or waiting for the 2014 Lok Sabha poll outcome — for a bigger role in government formation at the Centre — surfaced at the conclave.

Many leaders owing allegiance to party president Sharad Yadav opined that the JD(U) should wait for the poll outcome, as regional parties are expected to play a bigger role in government formation in 2014.

Other sections favour a pre-poll alliance with the Congress in a bid to consolidate the secular votes. But the lukewarm response of the Congress towards JD(U) came in for sharp criticism by the leaders.

While a section of Congress leaders are cosying up to Nitish Kumar, ever since he had announced to support any party or combination that extended special category status to Bihar, another section is pitching for a triangular alliance among Congress, RJD and LJP.


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