Patna, July 21 : Top leaders of Bihar’s ruling JD-U and the RJD Monday strongly favoured an alliance between them in a bid to defeat “communal forces” in the state. A day after the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) said it will contest the by-elections to 10 assembly seats in Bihar with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), former chief minister Nitish Kumar said all secular parties need to come together. In this category, he also included the Congress, the Left and others.

“A strong alliance among these parties is necessary today,” Nitish Kumar told the media at the assembly. Nitish Kumar, however, said no formal decision had been taken so far about an alliance with the RJD but this “will take place soon”. JD-U state president Vashsisht Narain Singh told the media that his party will contest the polls with the RJD to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party. He said the JD-U sent feelers to the RJD for an alliance but was yet to get a reply.

“I am likely to meet (RJD chief) Lalu Prasad in Delhi Tuesday to discuss this,” Vashsisht Narain Singh. Former chief minister Rabri Devi also said an alliance between the JD-U and the RJD was a must to defeat the BJP. “I strongly favour an alliance,” she said. The view was echoed by RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui. “It is certain that the alliance will materialise and a formal decision will be taken in this matter,” he said.

Last month, the RJD supported the JD-U’s two candidates in the Rajya Sabha by-election. The JD-U and RJD, which parted ways in 1994, are coming together after the BJP swept the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar.