The JD(U)’s bid to stitch together for next year’s Uttar Pradesh polls a coalition of avowedly secular parties like the Grand Alliance that decimated a BJP-led combine in the 2015 Bihar election hit a roadblock on Sunday, with none of the major UP parties expressing interest to come aboard.
Tempers flared and anxieties were apparent at a meeting organised by the Janata Dal (United) in Lucknow, as party leaders hit out at the state’s ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) and the principal opposition Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for failing to set aside difference to join an anti-BJP coalition for the UP polls.
Like Bihar, the BJP had swept Uttar Pradesh on its way to a stunning victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and the so-called secular parties have been trying to replicate their success from the neighbouring state by joining forces in UP. “The leaders of non-BJP political parties lack commitment, patience and sacrifice that was displayed by Bihar leaders to check Narendra Modi’s victory chariot,” JD(U)’s national spokesperson KC Tyagi said.
Buoyed by the Bihar win, the JD(U) launched its mission for a similar alliance in UP by announcing support to candidates of former union minister Ajit Singh’s RLD for upcoming bypolls on three assembly seats. Grand Alliance partners Congress and RJD, however, have been silent on the issue. The Congress has, in fact, announced it will field candidates on all three seats.
Congress leader Satyadeo Tripathi and RJD’s state unit president Ashok Singh told HT the top leadership of their respective parties will take a final decision on the possibility of forming a Bihar-style umbrella alliance in UP.
“Efforts are being made to form a grand alliance with secular parties that are committed to social justice,” said JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav. “The Bihar election has shown the way – that the BJP can be stopped and how. Talks are continuing with the leaders of national as well as regional parties to form alliances.”