The regional satraps of non-BJP parties shared the dais on Friday, further fanning murmurs of a ‘Bihar-type’ ‘secular’ alliance coming up in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.
The presence of JD(S) president HD Deve Gowda, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, NCP’s Sharad Pawar, SP’s Amar Singh and INLD’s Dushyant Chauthala at the launch of a translated version of Paul R Brass’s book on former PM Chaudhary Charan Singh was indicative of a political messaging for Uttar Pradesh.
“The JD (S), NCP or the INLD may not have major political stakes in Uttar Pradesh, but the gathering does indicate a willingness of the non-BJP camp to join forces to fight the BJP at the state and national level”, a JD (U) source said.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who could not make it to Friday’s event, has toned down his aggressive posturing in UP in past few weeks. “Kumar sees the UP elections as a stepping stone for his emergence as the natural leader of the secular alliance at the national level”, JD (U) sources said.
While RLD leader Ajit Singh has already firmed up a deal with Nitish Kumar’s JD (U), the possibility of the SP and Congress coming on board has revived hopes of a “secular alternative” being formed to put up a united fight against the BJP.
If a cross-party alliance is formed, then Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, who at present is seen to be in a favourable position, might have to struggle to secure a victory.