Patna, June 13 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said Thursday his Janata Dal-United (JD-U) was in discussions with his West Bengal and Odisha counterparts, Mamta Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik, on the formation of a Federal Front.
“Yes, we discussed the issue. But the matter is still in early stages, and it is not proper to make guesses about the new formation now,” Nitish Kumar told reporters in Patna before leaving for Katihar on his “Sewa Yatra” (people’s service journey).
Nitish Kumar recalled that he had advocated unity among the eastern states for the resolution of their common problems of backwardness and for better development in the region. “We have been facing similar problems, and there is need for unity,” he said.
Nitish Kumar also said that BJP president Rajnath Singh late Wednesday night spoke to him about the tension between the JD-U and BJP over the elevation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to the party’s campaign chief for the 2014 general elections.
“Last night, Rajnath Singh telephoned me and this (Thursday) morning, (senior BJP leader) Murli Manohar Joshi also telephoned me,” Nitish Kumar said.
He said that his party would closely watch the developments within the BJP and decide about its continued alliance with the BJP after deliberations with party leaders.
The JD-U, which has considerable support from minorities, is alarmed that Narendra Modi’s elevation could affect its votebank in Bihar.
Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has attacked the JD-U for closing ranks with a “communal” party like the BJP.
The recent victory of the RJD in the Maharajganj assembly by-election has given the JD-U cause for concern.