Congress unhappy over seat sharing in Bihar (Second Lead)March 17th, 2009 - 10:23 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) An upset Congress Tuesday termed as “unacceptable” the seat sharing agreement worked out for Bihar between two of its United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partners, which gave it just three seats in the state, but was quick to dispel any talk of the coalition being in trouble.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJSP) announced their seat sharing arrangement for Bihar’s 40 Lok Sabha seats, according to which 25 will go to the RJD, 12 to the LJSP and three to the Congress.
“Three seats in Bihar is unacceptable to the Congress and the matter will be taken up by the party with the allies. We will ensure that the Congress gets sufficient seats in Bihar,” said Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan.
To a question on whether the alliance with RJD and LJSP was in tatters, Natarajan said: “Our alliance is not in tatters. We would certainly work to ensure that the secular coalition is not divided. We will overcome all hurdles.”
Sushil Kumar Shinde, head of the Congress screening committee for Bihar, said that a respectable seat sharing settlement has not been worked out by the RJD and LJSP.
“We expected an honourable settlement from the RJD, but this has not been done,” Shinde told reporters.
On whether the Congress would hold further talks on the issue with Lalu Prasad, Shinde said: “I don’t think so.”
Shinde too refuted any talk of a rift in the United Progressive Alliance.
“The UPA is intact, there is no bifurcation in the UPA,” Shinde said.
Shinde was flanked by Iqbal Singh, Congress general secretary in-charge of Bihar, and Sadhu Yadav, brother-in-law of Lalu Prasad who said he was joining the Congress Tuesday.
“I have come to join the Congress. I have told them my grievances. I will definitely contest the elections, but how and from where this party high command has to decide,” Yadav told reporters.
Asked if the Congress was breaking the RJD, Shinde said: “We are not breaking any party, if some one wants to come to us what can you do.”
RJD chief Lalu Prasad and LJSP leader Ram Vilas Paswan Tuesday announced that they will contest the upcoming polls together in Bihar as members of the UPA.
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Tags: allies, bifurcation, congress, elections, general secretary, grievances, hurdles, iqbal singh, jayanthi, lalu prasad, lok sabha seats, march 17, New Delhi, progressive alliance, rjd, screening committee, secular coalition, spokesperson, sushil kumar, UPA