Manmohan is not UPA’s prime ministerial candidate: RJD leader

March 25th, 2009 - 6:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) Manmohan Singh was the prime ministerial candidate of the Congress but not the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), a leader of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) said Wednesday, adding to the strain in the ties between the two parties.
The RJD, a key ally of the UPA, was also open to the possibility of the party joining the Third Front in a post-poll scenario, said RJD deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Devendra Prasad Yadav.

Asserting that the RJD was still a part of the UPA, Devendra Yadav told IANS over the phone from his constituency Jhanjharpur in Bihar: “Manmohan Singh is the prime ministerial candidate of the Congress. He is not the prime ministerial candidate of the UPA.”

He said the entire scenario would change after the elections and the prime minister would be decided only after the polls.

Stating that his party leader and Railways Minister Lalu Prasad also had a chance to become prime minister after the elections, he said: “We are not astrologers. It will depend on the numerical strength in the 15th Lok Sabha.”

Asked whether the RJD would remain a UPA partner after the elections, Devendra Yadav said: “We will be with the secular forces after the elections. The numerical position of the parties will decide what stand the party (RJD) should take.”

“The Left parties are also secular.”

Congress president Sonia Gandhi had said here Tuesday there could be many contenders for the post of prime minister, but nobody measured up to Manmohan Singh.

RJD-Congress ties were stretched to breaking point after Lalu Prasad and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Ramvilas Paswan decided to contest 37 seats in Bihar, leaving only three for the Congress.

The Congress hit back saying it would contest 37 seats on its own in Bihar.

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