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Bihar Assembly Polls: SP forms third front with NCP

Lucknow: Weeks after exiting the 'Mahagathbandan' led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the Samajwadi Party on Thursday declared the formation of a 'Third Front' to contest the Bihar assembly polls. With this announcement, SP made it clear that it will contest the polls with Samajwadi Janata Dal-Democratic, NCP and National People’s Party (NPP).

“We will contest Bihar Assembly polls with SJD-D led by former Union Minister Devendra Prasad Yadav, NCP and NPP headed by former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma as Third Front alternative in Bihar,” SP National General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav said at a joint press conference with leaders of these parties.

Former senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Raghunath Jha who formally joined the Samajwadi Party at the venue of the press meet, said that RJD leader and former chief minister Lalu Prasad had ditched him, adding, he was not getting due respect in the party.

"I thank Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for accepting me in his party fold," he said.

Unveiling the new front, Ram Gopal Yadav said that the candidates of the new front for the first phase of Bihar polls would be announced
on September 18.

“We will meet in Patna tomorrow and decide seat-sharing for the first phase of the elections.”

The Samajwadi Party plans to field candidates from the “extremely backward classes” (EBCs) for the polls to the 243-member assembly to be held in five phases on October 12, 16, 28, November 1 and 5. EBCs such as the Prajapati, Lohar, Badhai, Mallah, Dhobi and Chaurasia would be at the top of its list.
The SP recently forged an alliance with the NCP, which too had walked out of the secular alliance led by Nitish Kumar over the distribution of seats.

The counting of the votes will take place on November 8.

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