JD-U leader says party has high regard for bengal CM
statesman news service 
KOLKATA,12 JUNE: Bolstered by the widening rift between the BJP and the JD-U, Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee today went a step further to concretise her proposal to form a Federal Front with “all regional” parties and held talks over the telephone with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik in succession.
Soon after her conversations Miss Banerjee told the media: “I spoke to Nitish Kumar. Nitishji is in agreement that it would be good if we come together and form a Federal Front. I also spoke to Naveen Patnaik on the issue over phone today. When we talk again we will decide the venue where we will meet. We will all talk (with regional parties) in different states.” 
With the national political scenario fast unfolding, JD-U general secretary K C Tyagi met Miss Banerjee in her chambers at Writers’ Buildings during the day. Expressing satisfaction over the progress of talks with Mr Tyagi, the chief minister said: “Tyagiji has come to talk to me on the subject. We are happy. And, you know, some days ago Babulal Marandi (JVM-P chief) also came from Jharkhand to talk on this. Two or three other leaders came and talked with us.” 
Miss Banerjee iterated that as she had posted in an appeal on a social networking site yesterday, the Trinamul Congress wanted a non-BJP and non-Congress front at the Centre.  She said several regional parties had expressed their willingness to form the Federal Front soon after she posted her appeal. 
Mr Tyagi said the JD-U has high regard for the Trinamul chief. “Our leaders Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar have a long association with Didi. Sharad Yadav had also participated in a rally held by Didi at Jantar Mantar."
The Trinamul Congress all-India general secretary Mukul Roy said that as things stood now the country was going to get a fractured mandate in the 2014 poll. “Regional parties are going to fare well in West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Tripura, Nagaland, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. As a result, they would together be a deciding factor in the formation of a government at the Centre. The Trinamul will increase its tally in the LS poll as it is expecting to do better in north Bengal. More seats will be won in Malda, Murshidabad, Cooch Behar and Balurghat because for the first time we have been able to field the maximum number candidates for the panchayat poll  beginning on 2 July. The increase in our tally will be reflected in our results in the coming Lok Sabha poll,” Mr Roy added.
In Delhi, asked about Miss Banerjee’s moves, Mr Patnaik said, “let us see what the future holds”.
In Patna, JD-U leaders said, “Views have been firmed up to end ties with BJP and only an announcement has to be made”.

Bihar JD-U set to snap ties with BJP
NEW DELHI, 12 JUNE: Hardly had the crisis sparked off by Mr L K Advani’s resignation following the elevation of Mr Narendra Modi as the BJP’s campaign panel chief been resolved, the party was faced with another major challenge  as its Bihar ally, JD-U, appeared headed towards a parting of the ways.
The JD-U’s move to quit the NDA has also triggered related developments on the formation of a new non-Congress, non-BJP front to fight the next Lok Sabha elections. A section of the JD-U wants the BJP to make the first move and feels merely having Mr Modi as ‘election panel chief’ is not an adequate excuse to quit the NDA. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has made no secret of his animosity towards Mr Modi and he would find it extremely difficult to pursue ‘joint poll management with the BJP under Mr Modi’. JD-U MPs and MLAs have been asked to stay put in Patna on Friday and Saturday, when a meeting could be held to take a final call on the tie-up with the BJP, party sources said. The JD-U, which heads the coalition with the BJP in Bihar, has 118 MLAs and does not need the support of the BJP’s 91 MLAs to continue in power in the 243-member Assembly. sns (another report on page 2)