New Delhi : Congress ally NCP on Monday 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”, reports PTI. 

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.
Explaining the rationale behind NCP, despite being a part of the UPA government, attending a convention of non-Congress, non-BJP parties, Anwar said that his party was invited there because it had an alliance with Left parties in Kerala. “We have an alliance with Congress in Maharashtra for both the Assembly elections as well as the Lok Sabha polls. We will continue with UPA and will fight the next general elections in alliance with Congress in Maharashtra.
“In Kerala, we are in alliance with Left parties and not with Congress. So in that capacity, the Left invited us for the convention. We supported it as it was an anti-communalism campaign,” he said, downplaying contentions of NCP trying to rock the UPA boat and giving an indication of it by attending the October 30 convention. Anwar said that he is in favour of a grand alliance of secular parties, including even the rivals like SP and BSP in Uttar Pradesh and JD(U) and RJD in Bihar but acknowledged that this appears “difficult” given the antagonism by rival parties to one another in these states.
He said that in current political circumstances, BJP or any alliance led by BJP cannot come to power. “It does not seem that BJP or a government led by it can come to power. I do not see any wave in favour of BJP or Narendra Modi. The party has no presence in south India or north east.

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