Mumbai, Aug 14: The Maharashtra unit of Janata Dal (Secular) today called for alliance of secular forces for the upcoming assembly polls in Maharashtra. “An alliance of secular parties has to be formed before the upcoming elections to combat communal forces….Therefore we are ready to join hands with Congress and NCP,” said Pratap Hogade, senior JD(S) leader.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar should play the role of “big brother” and come forward to put together an alliance, he said. “We are also in talks with the Left parties for this grand alliance and we remain hopeful of a positive outcome. But the initial step has to be taken by Congress and NCP,” he said.

Meanwhile, NCP today said it was in favour of consolidating secular, like-minded votes and the decision in this regard will be taken after the seat-sharing arrangement with Congress is finalised after August 20. NCP chief Sunil Tatkare said Congress-NCP will consider proposals of Samajwadi Party and JD(S) for alliance.