New Delhi: Buoyed by the success of the grand alliance experiment in Bihar, JD(U) on Sunday batted for similar anti-BJP formations in five states going to polls next year, especially Assam. It also pitched for a nation-wide alliance of like-minded parties to take on BJP-led NDA.
At its National Executive meeting here attended by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and party chief Sharad Yadav, its leadership resolved to engage with other parties to explore the possibility of cobbling together an anti-BJP grand alliance at the centre but stopped short of projecting Kumar as a leader of such an outfit.
JD(U), however, averred he was “a prime ministerial material” and the “most able and honest” Chief Minister. The party said it expected him to influence the national politics through Bihar. Apart from Assam, assembly polls will be held in West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry next year.
The meeting also decided to approach the Election Commission with a request for changing the party’s election symbol of a horizontal arrow.
Briefing reporters, chief spokesperson K C Tyagi said parties like JMM and Shiv Sena had symbols resembling JD(U)’s, which caused a lot of confusion among its voters. The party lost five seats in Bihar assembly polls due to this, he claimed.
It also urged the Congress to make “sacrifice” in Assam, where it is in power but faces a strong challenge from BJP, to form an alliance with AGP and AIUDF, saying the days of single-party governments, except for BJP, are over.
“Congress is the biggest party and it has the biggest responsibility as well. Assam is the only state among those going to polls next year where BJP has a chance (of forming government).
It must be stopped,” Tyagi said. Hitting out at the Modi government, he said JD(U)’s apprehensions, which caused it to part ways with BJP in 2013, have been proven right as the saffron party was working to divide the society on the lines of religion, language, what people eat and how they worship.
“New conspiracies are being hatched against religious and linguistic minorities. In one year, the whole country has got gripped with a sense of fear,” a resolution adopted at the meeting said, adding intellectuals and writers have found an echo of “fascism” in the government.
The guiding philosophy of the BJP and RSS had been that nation comes first followed by society and individual but now it is all about one individual, Tyagi said, attacking Modi.
Terming the Lok Sabha election in 2014 as the “most expensive and poisonous”, JD(U) said BJP might have won it but its “divisive” campaign harmed the country’s ethos. The victory in the Bihar polls, even though JD(U) had to make “sacrifices” by giving away its seats to alliance partners, was a victory of its principles, Tyagi said.