Former Bihar CM is in talks with several parties to knit a grand alliance in the state and sources claim that an alliance will be formed within one and a half month

Former Bihar chief minister and JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar has rolled up his sleeves to stop the BJP bandwagon from making a footprint in the state assembly elections scheduled in November this year. Kumar is in talks with several parties to knit a grand alliance in the state and sources claim that an alliance will be formed within one and a half month. Talks are on with several parties and Kumar has held two-day discussion with senior leaders of the parties, which concluded on Sunday.Nitish has also hinted at merger of the Janata Parivar parties. “We all are active on the merger. Mulayam Singh Yadav, who has been authorised to take it ahead, is working on it. We talked about it on January 1, too. He will finalise it after talking to everybody, but no deadline has been fixed for it yet,” said Kumar.”Merger will be according to a set process and all formalities will be finished before it. Though our party members have suggested that it should not become a never-ending process and should be completed soon,” Kumar added.To begin with, an alliance will first be formed to stop BJP in Bihar. A source close to the development told dna, “Talks are going on with the Congress. Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is already with us, but the specific details of division of seats for the grand alliance will take place. The party also wants the Left to be on board and discussions with the parties are underway. Though Left has got certain reservations on joining hands with the Congress. They may not help each other in the alliance, but at least JD (U) will provide help to both of them. The alliance will be formed in the next one and a half month.”Talking about feasibility of such an alliance with parties having diverse ideologies, JD (U) leader K C Tyagi told dna, “In the current scenario, there is no unaccountability. The only priority is to stop BJP from gaining power in Bihar. This experiment will hopefully be successful in Bihar and this will provide a model for the future.”BJP, meanwhile, claims that Kumar has lost the residual credibility by joining hands with RJD. The party also claims that it has successfully managed to make inroads into the backwards and extremely backward votebank, which remained faithful to Kumar. However, the consolidation of the minority votes in favour of the alliance – if it is formed – could pose a major challenge for the BJP.The parties that Kumar wants to bring together have already collectively displayed their strength in the Rajya Sabha by putting a spanner in the reform process and not letting the key bills such as the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill pass the muster. It was only after this that the BJP – which is in minority in the Rajya Sabha – had to take Ordinance route to continue with the reform process

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Nitish Kumar hints at Janata Parivar merger