JD(U) in two minds over alliance with Congress
Bihar`s ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) is divided over entering into an alliance with the Congress for the next general elections though no decision has been taken yet.
Patna: Bihar`s ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) is divided over entering into an alliance with the Congress for the next general elections though no decision has been taken yet.
A powerful group led by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, soft towards the Congress, is in favour of an alliance with it to counter BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, while a group led by party president Sharad Yadav pins its hope on an anti-BJP, anti-Congress front.
Sharad Yadav, a socialist leader known for his anti-Congress political stand since the mid-1970s, is more keen to join a third front to avoid embarrassment of joining hands with the Congress, say party leaders.
"Nitish Kumar is very unpredictable in politics ... no one thought that he will dump theBharatiya Janata Party (BJP). There is strong hope that he will join hands with Congress before or after general elections," said a senior JD-U legislator considered close to him.
Another JD (U) leader said that Nitish Kumar has hinted time and again that he will support a party that will grant special category status to Bihar.
"After Raghuram Rajan Committee identified Bihar as one of the `least developed`, the state is set to receive more funds for development, even if not special category status, under a new criteria to measure backwardness. It is a big victory for Bihar. Nitish Kumar will encash it in upcoming elections," said the party leader.
Nitish Kumar declined to give a straight answer while interacting with media Monday. "We have not yet thought about it, so how come we say that a decision is being taken in this regard," he said in response to queries whether any decision has been taken on a tie-up with the Congress.
The idea of an alliance with the Congress was first publicly aired by senior party leader Shivanand Tiwari, who sought to justify his stand by saying that the anti-Congressism started by veteran socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia was now over.
Tiwari, who argued this stand was relevant when the Congress was all powerful, also hinted that the JD(U) would take a final decision about it at its `Chintan Shivir` in Rajgir in Nalanda district Oct 27-28.
On the other hand, Sharad Yadav has expressed support for Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for working to form a third front after the 2014 general elections.