Zee Media Bureau/Deepak Nagpal
New Delhi: Leaders of non-Congress and non-BJP parties met here on Wednesday and decided to join hands as a `federal front` ahead of the Lok Sabha elections due by May this year.
The leaders held talks on the intricacies of such an alliance, which they are choosing not to call a `third front`.
The announcement was made at a joint press conference of leaders of these parties including the four Left parties, Samajwadi Party, JD(U), AIADMK, AGP, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, JD(S) and BJD.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and JD(U) president Sharad Yadav said this was the "first step" after the parties came together in October last for an anti-communal convention here.
“We have 11 (non-Congress, non-BJP) parties which have come together on common issues,” Yechury said after the talks.
Talks have already been held among Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and JD(S) head HD Deve Gowda.
Part of the agenda at today`s meet was also to join hands to scuttle any populist move which the ruling UPA government could be planing to announce during the Parliament session beginning today.
Today`s talks will be followed up with another meeting here, either on February 9 or 10. At that meeting, Kumar, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, Deve Gowda and other leaders are expected to prepare the blueprint for the front.
"We are keen on trying for a new front on the basis of understanding and cooperation to take on the Congress and the BJP in elections," Nitish had said, while ruling out a return to the NDA.
"There is no question of us (JD-U) returning to the NDA."
JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP and spokesperson KC Tyagi had told a leading English daily that the 14 regional parties have already held talks once on October 28 last year.
Today`s meeting came days after Jayalalithaa`s AIADMK forged pre-poll alliances with the CPM and the CPI.