Can’t help if Congress is unhappy: Lalu Prasad (Lead)

March 21st, 2009 - 8:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) Unfazed by the Congress announcing it would go it alone in Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Saturday asserted that he could not help if the Congress was unhappy with the seat sharing formula firmed up with the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and he would stick to it.
At the same time, he sought to dispel talk about any spilt in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), saying his party continued to be a part of the ruling coalition.

Lalu Prasad said: “We are still in the UPA.”

But, he added: “If anyone wants to part ways with the RJD, they can leave.”

The RJD chief’s reaction came hours after the Congress announced it would fight 37 of Bihar’s 40 seats.

Reiterating his poll alliance with the LJP, in which the two parties share most of the Bihar seats between them and have left just three for the Congress, Lalu Prasad said: “We will give only three seats to the Congress and there will be no reconsideration on this.”

He told reporters: “If the Congress wants to field its candidates they can, but (Congress chief) Sonia Gandhi will realise the importance of the RJD after the elections.”

He said: “In the present scenario, neither the Congress nor the BJP can come to power on its own. We can’t help if the Congress is unhappy with the seat sharing in Bihar. During the last assembly elections, we left 90 seats for Congress, but they won only nine and that too with RJD’s support.”

Hitting out at the Congress move to go it alone in Bihar, Lalu Prasad said: “If you (Congress) were so strong, why did you ask us for seats? We would have come to you, instead of the other way around.”

He said the Congress had no standing in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

He also said: “We are part and parcel of the UPA and we will not criticise the Congress during the campaign in Bihar. I respect Sonia Gandhi but she is under pressure from party leaders from Bihar.”

He asserted that the Congress was not the sole political party in the UPA. “It is not just the Congress, the UPA was formed on the strength of all of us.”

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