Nitish Kumar doesn`t rule out Third Front
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Last Updated: Thursday, June 13, 2013, 12:18
Zee Media Bureau

Patna: Amid speculation that the JD(U) is mulling to quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) post Narendra Modi's elevation within the BJP, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday hinted that he was not averse to the idea of a Third Front.

As of now, Nitish is keeping his options open.

The JD(U) has said that it is open to supporting the Congress if the UPA government grants Bihar backward/special status. "I can't say that it has taken a solid form yet but can't rule out the possibility in future," Nitish was reported as saying.

JD(U) spokesperson Rajeev Ranjan was more forthcoming: "In politics, all possibilities are open. Right now we are a part of the NDA and our first priority is to take a decision on this alliance."

Nitish also said that he could not rule out the possibility of a Third Front, as mooted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The Bihar CM added that his main concern was special status for his state.

Nitish stated he had held talks with Mamata Banerjee on the issue.

"I have talked to Mamata Banerjee on the phone. She said that Bihar, Jharkhand, Odhisa and West Bengal have problems which have to be solved together, with the support of the regional parties. I agree with her, these issues have to be tackled together. If we can understand and address each others' problems, regional parties can form a new front to take on the central government. This will send out a good message," Nitish was quoted as saying by a news website.

Several BJP leaders like LK Advani, Rajnath Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi have spoken to Nitish, but the latter is reported to have conveyed to the BJP leadership that post Modi's rise, his party's continuance in the NDA has become untenable.

Bihar Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh categorically said that Modi was not acceptable to his party as the NDA's prime ministerial candidate.

"We are against being part of the NDA under his leadership," said Singh.

Mamata Banerjee yesterday held talks with her Bihar and Odisha counterparts - Nitish Kumar and Naveen Patnaik - on the formation of a federal front.

"I spoke to Nitish Kumar. Nitishji is in agreement that it would be good if we come together and form a federal front. We will all talk (with regional parties) in different states," Banerjee said after a meeting with JD(U) general secretary KC Tyagi.

"I also spoke to Naveen Patnaik (Odisha Chief Minister) on the issue over phone. When we talk again we will decide the venue where we will meet," Banerjee told reporters.

"We are happy. And, you know some days ago Babulal Marandi (JVM-P chief) came from Jharkhand to talk on this. Two or three other leaders came and talked with us," she said.

First Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013, 12:18

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