JD(U) pulls out of UP polls in a bid to stop division of secular votes

Janata Dal (United) President Nitish Kumar
Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) has decided not to contest the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls so as to "consolidate and strengthen secular forces" and ensure that "communal forces" are defeated.

JD(U) national General Secretary K C Tyagi told reporters that the decision to pull out of the UP Assembly polls was taken at the party's core committee meeting at Patna on Tuesday.

"The decision has been taken to defeat the communal forces and also to ensure no further division in secular votes takes place," he said.

Tyagi also expressed disappointment that a comprehensive alliance on the lines of grand-alliance in Bihar, where all "secular forces" joined hands to defeat the BJP, could not be formed. Samajwadi Party and Congress have, however, formed a pre-poll alliance in UP.

"We are disappointed, surprised and hurt that both SP and Congress failed to form a grand alliance on the lines of Bihar that proved to be a milestone in nation's politics. Bihar's grand alliance was formed by the efforts of both Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad who buried their differences for a bigger objective," Tyagi said.

"If we have to win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, then it is necessary that BJP must be defeated in UP polls," he said.

The JD(U) general secretary said had RLD and JD(U) been accommodated in the grand alliance, it would have won 300 seats in the UP assembly.

He was accompanied by Water Resources Minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, party National General Secretaries R C P Singh, Shyam Rajak, Sanjay Jha and others.

Asked if Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is also party's national president, would go to UP if invited by CM Akhilesh Yadav for campaigning, Ranjan Singh said he (Kumar) "would not go to UP for campaigning".

"We don't have much stake in UP, so we will pray from here (sitting in Patna) for them to win," Singh said.

Tyagi further expressed his disappointment that hard work put in by party workers in preparing grounds for UP assembly polls in five divisions where Kumar addressed some public meetings could not fructify.

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