RJD to fight in Congress seats of Bihar tooMarch 22nd, 2009 - 4:27 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) The rift in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) widened Sunday with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) deciding to contest even in the three Lok Sabha seats held by the Congress in Bihar.
Hardening his stand against the Congress, Lalu Prasad told reporters here that his party would put up candidates in Aurangabad, Sasaram and Madhubani.
He said the RJD candidates even in these three constituencies would enjoy the backing of Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).
The RJD and LJP would also jointly fight elections in nearby Jharkhand, he said, before leaving for Bihar and Jharkhand to plunge into the election campaign.
The RJD and LJP had originally carved out 37 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats of Bihar among themselves, leaving only Aurangabad, Sasaram and Madhubani for the Congress.
A miffed Congress retaliated by announcing that it would field candidates in 37 seats in Bihar and also announced a tie-up with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) in Jharkhand, leaving only two seats to RJD.
At his press conference, Lalu Prasad, for years the most vocal supporter of the Congress, was at his acerbic best, challenging it to win even in the three constituencies it won in 2004.
He said the RJD and LJP had at one point agreed to offer four Lok Sabha seats to the Congress in Bihar — the same number it contested five years ago. This, he said, was rejected by the Congress.
“Now we have decided to field candidates from Aurangabad, Sasaram and Madhubani, the sitting seats of Congress,” Lalu Prasad said.
While stating that he had high regards for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the RJD chief reminded the Congress that the ruling coalition was not a Congress fiefdom but an alliance of many parties.
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