PATNA: The Samajwadi Party today announced that it had teamed up with five parties, including NCP and Janadhikar Party of Pappu Yadav to form a third front and also reached a seat sharing agreement among themselves for the Bihar assembly polls in October-November.
The leaders of six parties - SP, NCP, Janadhikar Party of Pappu Yadav, Samras Samaj Party (SSP) of former Union minister Nagmani, NPP (Nationalists Peoples Party) of former Speaker P A Sangma and Samajwadi Janata Party (SJP) of former Union minister Devendra Prasad Yadav - held a joint press conference to announce the launch of the third front.
As per seat-sharing among parties on 243 seats, Mulayam Singh Yadav's SP would contest 85 seats, Pappu Yadav's Janadhikar Party 64, NCP 40, SSP 28, SJP 23 and NPP 3.
SP secretary-general Kiranmoy Nanda told reporters that the third front would be named as "Socialist Secular Morcha".
Mulayam Singh Yadav would be the head of the front while elections would be fought under the leadership of NCP general secretary and Katihar MP Tariq Anwar, Nanda said.
The coming together of SP, NCP and Pappu Yadav has added muscle to the new front which has the potential to give enough jitters to the grand secular alliance of JD(U), RJD and Congress.
Nanda and others claimed that the front also enjoyed support of two other parties - Awami Insaf party and Sarvjan Kalyan Party - though no seat has been given to them.
Asked if Tariq Anwar would be the chief ministerial candidate of the third front, Nanda said the CM candidate would be chosen by MLAs of the front after the poll.
In reply to a question to Tariq Anwar that he was against any tie-up with Pappu Yadav's party, the NCP general secretary said the party did not have any aversion to Pappu Yadav and they had been having talks in the past also.
Devendra Yadav's SJP was launched only two days back after he quit Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) of Jitan Ram Manjhi accusing the former CM of "surrendering" before the BJP in seat-sharing.
In addition to the third front, six Left parties comprising CPI, CPM, CPI-ML, Forward Block, SUCI and RSP have already formed a separate front in the Bihar poll.
Hyderabad MP Asauddin Owaisi's AIMIM has also announced that it will fight elections in four Muslim - dominated districts of Seemanchal area comprising of 24 Assembly seats.