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BIHAR 2005

JD(U) renews move for non-RJD government in Bihar

Saturday 2 April 2005, by PARSAI*Gargi

NEW DELHI, APRIL 1. The Janata Dal (United) has renewed its moves to form a popular non-RJD Government in Bihar. The party has authorised its leader and Chief Ministerial candidate, Nitish Kumar, to initiate discussions with various non-RJD parties in the State. President’s rule was imposed in Bihar last month after victorious political parties failed to consolidate a fractured verdict to form a popular government.

Sources said the JD(U) had approached the Lok Janshakti (LJS) leader, Ram Vilas Paswan, before its just-concluded three-day convention ("Shamiksha Shivir’’) in Rajgir and was "encouraged" by his response. Mr. Paswan reportedly asked the JD(U) emissaries to talk to other parties. His recent action of dissolving the LJS State Committee ostensibly to keep his flock together was also working as a pressure on him to work towards formation of a non-RJD Government in Bihar.

Although the issue of Chief Minister is not being talked about openly, it is likely that Mr. Paswan may not insist on the post for himself but may settle down for a Haryana-type formula. He may also agree to an outside support by the BJP but whether the BJP would be amenable to that is an issue. A JD(U) source said Mr. Paswan should have left the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the Centre when the Congress gave its letter of support to RJD president, Lalu Prasad. Public ally however, Mr. Paswan still insists on the formation of a non-RJD, non-BJP Government in Bihar.

The JD(U) convention is a prelude to its national executive to be held here on April 10 and 11 when Bihar developments, coming Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala, Assam and West Bengal and organisational elections would be discussed. In the last national executive there was a demand from members to sever ties with the BJP but the final resolution only underscored the party’s secular credentials and remained silent on cutting off ties with the BJP.

At the Rajgir convention, Mr. Nitish Kumar unveiled a Common Minimum Programme derived on the basis of commonality in the party manifestos of all State parties. The programme not only stresses on secularism but calls for rising above caste politics and according priority to development of the State.

It promises development of Bihar beginning from an improved law and order situation in three months.

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