“Leaders of parties opposed to the Congress and the BJP will be meeting in Delhi on February 5”

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday categorically ruled out the Janata Dal(United) returning to the National Democratic Alliance, of which it had been part for 17 years.

He pointed to a consolidated effort by regional parties to come together to form a “bloc” in Parliament.

“There is no question of our going back to the NDA,” Mr. Kumar said on the sidelines of a function.

Mr. Kumar was responding to a question on a reported statement by party president Sharad Yadav hinting at the JD (U)’s return to the NDA fold.

He is also reported to have ruled out any attempt at forming a third front, dismissing it as empty talk.

“Mr. Yadav did not even say that. I spoke to him this [Saturday] morning. There has been an attempt to put words into Mr. Yadav’s mouth and create a false impression,” Mr. Kumar clarified.

“On February 5, there is a meeting of several parties to create a bloc in Parliament. The Left parties have taken the initiative and we are with them. There are several other parties which will be part of this bloc. Many parties have given favourable indications.”

Last October, Mr. Kumar attended a convention against communalism organised by the Left parties.

“The parties which were part of the convention will be coming together on a secular platform. Results of the recent State elections show that the people prefer a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative. The Congress has failed to check the forces of communalism,” JD (U) MP K.C. Tyagi told The Hindu.

While the February 5 meeting will create a united force in opposition to the UPA, on February 9 and 10, Mr. Kumar is slated to meet Mulayam Singh Yadav and JD (S) leader HD Deve Gowda in Delhi to announce the contours of a new federal structure.

The JD (U), Mr. Tyagi said, seeks a working relationship with the SP and the JD (S), which is part of the ‘Janata Parivar.’

The recent controversy over the inauguration of an Aligarh Muslim University centre in Kishanganj, to which, Mr. Kumar alleged, he was not invited by the Centre, was an indication that the Congress was a threat to the federal structure of the nation, Mr. Tyagi said.

The JD (U) split with the BJP in June 2013 over the issue of Narendra Modi’s candidature.