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Nitish Kumar gears up for 3rd front, as Congress fate hangs in balance

Sat, Apr 09, 2016, 04:12 PM
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is spearheading the formation of the third front. As part of the process, the JD(U) will on Sunday elect Nitish as JD(U) president. Armed with the party mandate, Nitish will then negotiate with the other parties to join the front.

After the initial manoeuvre, the Bihar Cheif Minister would be meeting Janata Dal president Ajit Singh, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha leader Babulal Marandi, and Janata Party (Samajwadi) leader Kamal Morarka.

The process of aligning likeminded parties is expected to be completed by 2017, when the UP assembly elections would be over.

Already the respective party leaders have met the Election Commission to seek a common symbol in the elections. They prefer the Samajwadai party's banyan as their symbol.

What will be the fate of the Congress in such an alignment? A few days ago, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi touted the Bihar success as his magic, but where is the Congress in Bihar, not even in the ruling coalition.

The Congress, which achieved a self-goal by splitting the combined Andhra Pradesh, risks being marginalised if the JD(U) front dumps it. The Assam poll will determine its fate. If voted out power in Assam, its fate will hang in balance.

Even if taken on board, the JD(U)-led front would not be willing to give any credence to the Congress, because it has many contenders for the Prime Minister's position. Nitish Kumar is one, Mulayam Singh is another. There is no room at the top for the Congress.

The grand old party has to regain the Telugu States before it can do anything. For this it has to undo the damage it has done by way of splitting the State. The perfunctory way it has asked for special status for Andhra Pradesh will not do. All its MPs may have to sign a memorandum to appeal for Special Category Status to AP to be credible. Its previous act of putting the Special Status demand in the AP Reorgnisation Bill and deleting it from the eventual Act had already exposed the party.
Agency: Ap7am Desk

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