JD-U not to align with anti-BJP forces

Party toys with idea of federal front, stay away from Cong, Left

In case the JD-U decides to snap ties with the BJP owing to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s elevation as the poll campaign mascot, the regional party from Bihar is toying with the idea of a federal front, primarily to avoid joining any staunch anti-BJP coalition.

The move to forge a “federal front” with the help of non-UPA and non-NDA parties like Mamata Banerjee’s Trinmool Congress and Naveen Patnaik’s BJD is aimed at keeping the JD-U away from the Congress and the Left, stark enemies of the BJP.

According to party sources, both Kumar and party president Sharad Yadav have agreed that the JD-U should not join a political formation which is essentially anti-BJP. On the contrary, some other party leaders are pressing for a truck with the Congress or a secular front.

The JD-U has been working on a federal front for quite some time. The interest shown by Mamata Banerjee is also obvious as she wants to limit the role of the Left in forming a third front. She does not want to see the Left taking a lead.

The Left has always actively canvassed for a third front, but vacillation by Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh on opposing the UPA government has disappointed them.

JD-U sources said party general secretary K C Tyagi was sent to Kolkata at the instance of Nitish Kumar. He wanted to give out a message that he was not inclined to form an alliance with the Congress, at least for now. He gave out another message that he was not in a hurry to join any formation which claims to be anti-BJP.

It is also an indication to the Congress that disassociation from the BJP does not mean that he does not have any choice other than ally with the Congress. However, a senior party functionary said the desire to create a third front is not purported to keep the Left parties away from such formations.

“The Left would be a part of the third front. Mamata is not opposed to the Left being part of the proposed front if it concentrates on national politics. We are in touch with Chandra Babu and Deve Gowda and others to make it a truly national front,” a senior JD-U leader told Deccan Herald.

But, other political factors may impede the process. Some leaders are not ready to accept Mulayam Singh as their leader. Naveen Patnaik has no issues with the Left, but he is facing stiff resistance to his economic policies from the Left. The anti-Posco struggle is led by the CPI.  BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the federal front was a “sorry outcome of the way UPA I and UPA II handled regional parties.”

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