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Nitish keeps BJP out of Bihar equation

April 02, 2005 17:10 IST

The National Democratic Alliance's chief ministerial candidate in Bihar, Nitish Kumar, on Saturday sent copies of his party, Janata Dal-United's, Common Minimum Programme to six "non-Rashtriya Janata Dal" parties.

This is being seen as a step by Nitish to cobble together a coalition which will have the numbers to stake claim to form government in the state.

Nitish, however, did not send a copy of the CMP to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the main constituent of NDA.

No party or any combination of parties had the numbers to form a government in Bihar after the February assembly election and President's rule was imposed in the state on March 7.

"This is purely a JD-U initiative. I don't think the BJP will put any roadblocks in the process of government formation," Nitish told reporters.

Ramvilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party, which has 39 seats in the Bihar assembly, wants Nitish to breakaway from the NDA and join a secular coalition in the state.

Nitish sent copies of the CMP to the following parties: The Lok Janshakti Party, the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (Liberation), the Communist Party of India, the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Nationalist Congress Party.

Besides these six parties, he sent it to 17 independent legislators too.

The CMP is said to contain finer points from election manifestos of all parties that went to assembly polls on an anti-RJD plank.

The JD-U leader said the Congress and the Communist Party of India-Marxist have not been involved in the process as they had already pledged their support to the RJD.

If the JD-U's exercise materialises, the group would have the support of 120 legislators -- the JD-U with 55, LJP 29, CPI-ML seven, CPI three, Samajwadi Party four, BSP two, NCP three and Independents- 17.

It would still be two short of a simple majority required in the 243-member Bihar assembly.

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