Congress to go solo in Bihar, but says no threat to UPA (Lead)March 21st, 2009 - 7:06 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) The Congress party Saturday declared that it would go it alone in Bihar after two of its United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partners ignored it while announcing a poll tie-up for the state. But the party was at pains to state that there was no danger to the coalition that is in power at the centre now.
The Congress announced that it would contest 37 of the 40 seats in Bihar for the Lok Sabha polls. The move came after allies, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), unilaterally announced a pre-poll tie-up for Bihar, leaving just three seats for the Congress.
Speaking to reporters, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said the party was left with “no other option” but to go it alone.
In reply to a question, Singh said there was no question of the UPA disintegrating since the alliance could always be formed after the elections, and hoped that “all secular parties will be united after the polls”.
“Even in 2004, the UPA was formed after the elections.”
The Congress has been smarting ever since Railway Minister Lalu Prasad of the RJD and Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan of LJP earlier in the week distributed 37 out of 40 seats among themselves.
Senior Congres leader Sushil Kumar Shinde said earlier in the day: “They (RJD and LJP) took the decision unilaterally to share the seats, leaving just three to us.”
“It was only through the press that we came to know about it,” he added.
“The last time we contested four seats and won three of them. Even that was also refused to us. My workers obviously feel insulted.”
He said the Congress has left three seats for its allies in Bihar, “two for which Laluji is contesting and another seat of Paswanji”.
Asked if it meant the end of the alliance, Shinde said: “This has nothing to do with the UPA government. It is intact. This is the business of the political parties; nothing to do with UPA.”
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