The JD(U) is to take a final call on quitting the NDA over the weekend, but already, the process of computing and racheting up the party’s numbers in the Bihar assembly has begun.
To remain in power after a split with the BJP, the party has to reach the magic figure of 122 in the 243-member state assembly. Currently, it has 118 MLAs and needs the support of another four.
The JD(U) has already been in touch with the six independent legislators and four Congress MLAs. That the JD(U) has already firmed up its decision also became apparent following Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s call to form a federal front.
On Wednesday, Banerjee spoke to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. “She wanted Kumar to organise the regional outfits under one banner and cement the coalition,” said Rajya Sabha MP KC Tyagi after meeting Banerjee in Kolkata on Wednesday.
The front will comprise the key parties of backward states including Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha and states of the north-eastern region – Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and regional outfits of the northeast.
Kumar has apparently told Banerjee that he would take a decision in this regard after the JD(U) meet on June 15, where a formal decision would be taken on the alliance with BJP. But already, in two rallies held in Patna and Delhi, he has dropped hints about the formation of a federal front.
On Wednesday, during their consultation with Kumar, senior JD(U) leaders gave a clear indication of their exasperation with the BJP, party sources said. Kumar already had a round of talk with party president Sharad Yadav, who is to visit Patna after his consultation with veteran BJP leader LK Advani.