New Delhi: Congress ally NCP today made a strong pitch for a “grand secular alliance” of parties even outside UPA in states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to check “communal forces”.

Union Minister Tariq Anwar, a senior leader of NCP from Bihar, said, “Those talking of checking communal forces should strive to do it in Bihar and UP if they really want to do so as these are the states which BJP is focussed on.”

In the event of a triangular contest in these states, the “division of secular votes” will benefit BJP, he said.

Anwar, whose party had attended the October 30 convention against communalism organised by the Left and over a dozen regional parties here, told PTI that a “grand alliance of secular parties in Bihar and UP is the need of the hour”.

He felt that there is no possiblility of emergence of any Third Front before the polls.

Anwar said that if such a formation could not emerge even after the elections due to “contradictions”, there is indeed a possibility that these parties will back a government led by any party including Congress.

“Since the basic principle of these parties coming together is to work against communalism, one thing is sure that they can never support BJP. The possibility of formation of any third front before the polls is zero due to inherent contradictions.

“If even after polls, no such front emerges, what is the option before them? If not directly, they will indirectly support UPA to form government to block communal forces from coming to power. The Left had supported UPA I in past. BSP, SP and RJD also supported UPA. Now even JD (U) has supported the UPA government on certain issues,” the NCP leader said.

He said that the convention of parties against communalism was “not a front against Congress”.

“This is a grouping against communalism not Congress. Since we believe in secularism, we will support any campaign against communalism,” Anwar said.

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