(REOPENS DEL 67)

\ Meanwhile, Nitish Kumar, Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U)\chief, who was one of the prime movers of the failed attempt\at merger of six splintered \\’Janata Parivar\\’ outfits, has\hinted at the possibility of the socialists coming together.\ \\"A step was taken to form a strong party after merger\of six erstwhile parties of the old Janata Parivar. To a great\extent the progress was also achieved. Talks were progressing\under the chairmanship of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, but\did not succeed,\\" he told reporters in Patna.\ \\"But, it will be wrong to assume that such efforts\will not be made again or will not succeed in future,\\" he\said.\ Kumar, however, said he had not received any invitation\so far for attending the Samajwadi Party\\’s silver jubilee\celebrations.\ Congress, which shares power with socialist parties like\JD(U) and Lalu Prasad\\’s RJD in Bihar, was lukewarm to the idea\of a grand alliance in UP ahead of the polls and even appeared\ruling itself out of it, saying there was \\"no movement\\"\forward and it had \\"no plans\\" of joining it.\ \\"As of today, there is no grand alliance, neither is\there any proposal, nor any such possibility or intention,\\"\Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters in Delhi.\ He was asked about the possibility of such an alliance in\the wake of JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav\\’s meeting with Congress\president Sonia Gandhi three days ago and with party general\secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad yesterday.\ Two days back, 17 Congress MLAs from UP had a meeting\with party vice-president Rahul Gandhi where they conveyed to\him that he should look at forming an alliance with the\\\"secular forces\\" to fight the Assembly polls. PTI SNS SPG SK\\SK\

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