No ‘fourth front’, we are part of UPA: Lalu (Lead)April 3rd, 2009 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, April 3 (IANS) The coming together of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Samajwadi Party and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is not a ‘fourth front’ and they are still part of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), RJD chief Lalu Prasad said here Friday.
Terming his new coalition with Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan as a part and parcel of the United Progressive Alliance, railways minister Lalu Prasad Friday asserted that they have come together to stop communal forces from coming to power.
“We are still part of the UPA and the partners are the same,” he said in a joint press conference along with Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party and Ram vilas Paswan of the LJP.
The three parties have joined hands ahead of the Lok Sabha elections after the Congress said it will not have a nationwide alliance.
While Lalu Prasad criticised the Congress for going alone, he said Manmohan Singh was their prime ministerial candidate too.
“There are second-grade leaders in the Congress and no regional party can leave its ground for other parties. However, we are still with UPA and Manmohan Singh is our prime ministerial candidate,” he said.
Paswan also supported Lalu Prasad’s remarks. “We are against communal forces, not against the Congress,” he said.
“Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkand collectively have 134 Lok Sabha seats and together we have the power to influence government formation in the centre,” Paswan said.
“All of us have also decided not to file candidates against one another in these states,” he added.
“We have also come together to provide relief to the people of Uttar Pradesh and expose the wrong doings of Chief Minister Mayawati,” he said.
On the main opposition, Lalu Prasad said: “The National Democratic Alliance stands nowhere close to coming to power and using my Lantern (RJD’s election symbol), I have seen that Lal Krishna Advani cannot become the prime minister of India.”
The three leaders also blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for the controversy over Varun Gandhi, the BJP candidate from Pilibhit who is behind bars for his alleged hate speeches targeting minorities.
“Not only Varun, but the BJP, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the BSP have similar opinions against the minority community. This (his arrest) has been done hand in glove with the state government. Varun could have easily been arrested as soon as he entered Ghaziabad,” Mulayam Singh Yadav said.
“We have come together for the cause of the poor people, irrespective of their caste and creed, and we will bring a revolutionary change in the politics of India,” he added.
The coalition will also hold joint rallies in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra.
“We will hold rallies in Varanasi, Saifai and Lucknow and also in Mumbai and Bihar. The dates will be declared soon”, Mulayam Singh Yadav said.
The three leaders said the would remain united even after the Lok Sabha elections.
“We will not remain separate any more, but will unite to work for the poor and counter the communal forces in the country,” Mulayam Singh Yadav told reporters at a joint press conference here.
“Mulayam Singh has said it correctly that we will continue to work together after the Lok Sabha polls… even in the next assembly elections,” said Lalu Prasad.
Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, who is now with the Samajwadi Party, and party general secretary Amar Singh were also present in the conference.
Dutt said he was a bit sad by the Supreme Court’s verdict, not allowing him to contest from Lucknow given his conviction in a criminal case, but it was his victory in a way.
“The court has also observed that I am a responsible citizen of India and I am not a habitual offender. In a way, the court has given me a character certificate. I am saddened by the fact that I will not be able to contest the elections but I will always be with the party,” said Dutt, who has also been appointed the national general secretary of the party.
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