Home / Patna / Yashwant Sinha’s UDA, Kejriwal’s AAP to add zing to Bihar assembly polls
While the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Grand Alliance (GA) are the major formations face to face in the forthcoming Bihar assembly election 2020, efforts to give shape to a third front has also quietly picked up momentum adding some zing to the election, otherwise seen as a direct NDA vs GA fight.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the United Democratic Alliance and some other political parties are aiming to provide an alternative to voters in Bihar.
UDA, headed by former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, is reportedly in talks with AAP. Last year AAP had offered Sinha a seat to contest Lok Sabha elections from New Delhi but it did not materialize then. However, Sinha’s proximity with AAP is well known.
In May this year, Sinha, who has been consistently critical of the Narendra Modi government, had sat on joint dharna at Rajghat in New Delhi with AAP leaders, including Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, demanding proper arrangements for migrant workers to get back home. They were later detained.
Defying his 80-plus age, Sinha has been criss-crossing the state for the last few weeks after announcing his return to active politics in June. He says he is in the Bihar assembly elections fray to change the “stage-managed narrative of 15 years versus 15 years” and provide an “alternative that people could believe in”, despite being aware that it will take no less than a miracle to create any room considering the present caste-based poll arithmetic in the state.
“We have formed UDA, which includes 16 smaller parties and senior leaders bound by a common ideology, to give Bihar an alternative it is yearning for. I have covered almost two-thirds of the state and the remaining one-third will be completed soon. Everyone knows what we are here for. Even AAP knows it,” said Sinha, adding UDA would keep away from anyone with corruption and criminal taint.
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UDA includes former Jehanabad MP Arun Kumar, five-time MP from Jhanjharpur Devendra Prasad Yadav, former union minister Nagmani, former Bihar ministers Narendra Singh and Renu Kushwaha and several others.
“The moment ticket distribution starts, we know many more will be interested in joining us after getting discarded by their own parties, but we have our benchmark,” said a senior leader of the new alliance.
Sources in the UDA said that Sinha and AAP getting closer was a possibility considering their compatibility. However, they ruled out any truck with former MP Pappu Yadav’s party.
A senior AAP leader said that even Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) could join the emerging third front if the GA did not treat it properly during seat sharing. “We can see the discomfort Upendra Kushwaha is in. If he wants, he can join our fight. We are open to people with a clean image,” he added.
RLSP principal general secretary Madhav Anand said talks for seat sharing were underway within the GA. “At present, there is no move to leave GA, as we hope things will work out during the talks. A normal seat sharing formula could be arrived on the basis of Lok Sabha seats contested. We had contested five seats and that converts into around 30 assembly seats. With new allies joining the GA, we know all constituents will be required to make some adjustments, but it has to be reasonable and proportionate. We hope the GA will decide it amicably,” he added.