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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Early jolt to Chautala third front move as Nitish decides to skip event

The former Haryana CM had invited JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda, SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav, and TMC chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, among others for the event in Jind which was being considered as an initial step to stitch up a third front.

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna |
Updated: September 12, 2021 2:04:08 pm
Om Prakash Chautala

In an early jolt to former Haryana Chief Minister and INLD supremo Om Prakash Chautala’s attempt to form a third front, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has expressed his inability to attend the birth anniversary function of former deputy PM Chaudhary Devi Lal on September 25.

The former Haryana CM had invited JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda, SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav, and TMC chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, among others for the event in Jind which was being considered as an initial step to stitch up a third front.

Nitish Kumar set speculation rife about his political move with his meeting with Chautala in August. The JD(U) also recently passed a resolution at its national council meeting about Nitish “possessing all the qualities a PM should have”. The Bihar CM earlier broke ranks with NDA on the Pegasus spyware controversy and caste census.

The JD(U) will send its national spokesperson KC Tyagi to attend the function in Jind, said JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh, also known as Lalan Singh, on Saturday. He said Chautala has been informed of the party’s decision.

“Nitish Kumar shared a very warm relationship with former PM Chaudhary Devi Lal and got his affection. The Bihar CM attended several functions organised by the former deputy PM’s family… But Nitish Kumar would not be able to attend the Jind function because of preparations in apprehension of a third Covid wave, spurt of a new disease among children, and floods. Nitish Kumar will not leave Bihar. If required urgently, he can go to Delhi but not beyond,” he told reporters.

JD(U) sources in Patna, however, said Nitish Kumar “might not be very comfortable with the idea of Chautala floating a third front and talking overtly about it at such an early stage”.

“We are very much part of the NDA and are running a coalition government. Any unnecessary political posturing from Jind can be avoided,” said a JD (U) source.

A BJP leader said, “It has been part of Nitish Kumar’s politics to first launch an offensive against ally BJP and then go into a shell. He has been very good at playing twin-track politics in his bid to pressure BJP.” The BJP leader said Nitish Kumar’s decision might well have to do something with “some counter-posturing from BJP”.

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