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News18 » Politics
1-min read

Nitish makes first steps towards grand alliance ahead of UP polls

Sources said Kumar's aim is try and forge a non-BJP, non-SP front ahead of 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Sumit Pande | CNN-IBN

Updated:February 3, 2016, 8:52 PM IST
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Nitish makes first steps towards grand alliance ahead of UP polls
Sources said Kumar's aim is try and forge a non-BJP, non-SP front ahead of 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

New Delhi: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar met with leaders of the Rashtriya Lok Dal over lunch on Wednesday in what sources described as first steps towards formation of a Grand Alliance in Uttar Pradesh.

Kumar, JD(U) leaders Sharad Yadav and KC Tyagi and RLD chief Ajit Singh were in the meeting which was held in Delhi. The Bihar chief minister is slated to hold meetings next with leaders of Apna Dal -- a former ally of BJP --- and the Peace Party.

Sources said Kumar's aim is try and forge a non-BJP, non-SP front ahead of 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Kumar wants to test waters in the upcoming bypolls in Muzaffarnagar, Deoband and Bikapur-- three assembly segments held by the ruling Samajwadi Party -- before trying to expand the alliance.

Sources said the next step for Kumar would be to try and pull in the Congress, and at a later stage, Mayawati's Bahujan Samajwadi Party.

While the Congress is learnt to be keen on such a front, Mayawati has always preferred to contest alone.The SP recently announced it will go solo in the 2017 polls, but it is early days yet.

The meeting comes a day after Kumar's first political rally in Uttar Pradesh after his big win in Bihar. At a rally in Ghazipur, he tried to strike an emotional chord saying people of both states shared the same roots.

His party national president Sharad Yadav has already announced support to the RLD in the bypolls and made it clear that the SP will be kept out of the proposed alliance.

SP had walked out of the grand alliance with JD(U), RJD and Congress just before the state went to polls in October. But it never cost the front much as it went on to win a massive 178 seats in the 243-seat assembly and decimate the BJP's alliance.

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