Not our making, says Congress on likely split of Bihar’s secular vote

March 20th, 2009 - 6:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Ram Vilas Paswan Bangalore, March 20 (IANS) If the Congress decision to contest 26 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, against the three offered to it by the Rashtriya Janata Dal-Lok Janashakti Party combine, leads to division of secular vote, it would not be “of our making”, Congress general secretary Jayanthi Natarajan said here Friday.
The Congress will contest 26 seats in Bihar as the offer of a mere three seats by the RJD-LJP combine is unacceptable, Natarajan said.

“Three seats are unacceptable. We will contest 26 seats and hope to win all of them,” she told reporters here after meeting Karnataka state Congress leaders.

“It will not be of our making,” she said when asked wouldn’t the Congress decision to contest in 26 constituencies lead to division of ’secular’ votes in Bihar.

Of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, the RJD led by Lalu Prasad has decided to contest in 25 and the LJP of Ram Vilas Paswan 12 seats, leaving the remaining three to the Congress.

On the controversy over Varun Gandhi’s reported anti-Muslim speeches, Natarajan said it was surprising that the Bharatiya Janata Party has not withdrawn his candidature from Pililbit in Uttar Pradesh.

She criticised the BJP government in Karnataka over incidents of attack on women, Muslims and Christians, and asked the Election Commission to take action against attempts to divide communities on the basis of religion for political gain.

Women and minorities have been attacked and churches vandalised after BJP came to power in Karnataka, she said.

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