RJD, LJP may go for alternative secular alliance in Bihar

With Congress sticking to its "go solo" mantra in Bihar, its former allies RJD and LJP may opt for an alternative secular alliance with Left support in the state.

Last Updated: Jun 19, 2010, 18:57 PM IST

New Delhi: With Congress sticking to its
"go solo" mantra in Bihar, its former allies RJD and LJP may
opt for an alternative secular alliance with Left support in
the state.

An indication to this effect was given by LJP chief
Ram Vilas Paswan, who won Rajya Sabha elections from Bihar
with support of RJD and CPI two days back. The Congress did
not vote for him.
"RJD-LJP alliance has been further strengthened after
Rajya Sabha elections. CPI supported my candidature though it
was against the RJD chief. We would like CPI to support our
alliance for the Assembly elections in the state. If Congress,
too wants to come, it is welcome. If it does not come, it is
also okay," Paswan told reporters here.

He was responding to questions on whether he still
wants an alliance with Congress for the upcoming assembly
polls in Bihar, where the NDA is in power.

"In Bihar there is no third force. It is a straight
battle between communal forces led by Nitish Kumar and secular
forces led by us there... LJP-RJD combine in itself is
competent enough to bring political change in Bihar," Paswan
said ruling out the possibility of Lalu Prasad`s RJD having a
tie up with Congress without LJP.

He also made it clear that he would sit with the
Opposition in Rajya Sabha. "I am in Opposition. Do you think I
am with the treasury. I will sit in opposition but may support
the government on issues that are in consonance with our
party`s policies," he said.
On whether he regrets joining a Congress-led
government in the past, Paswan replied in the negative,
saying, "I have no regrets. There were circumstances... to
keep communal forces away."

Paswan, however, rued that Congress did not support
him for Rajya Sabha polls. "It could have supported my
candidature like CPI did instead of wasting its votes by not
participating in the polls," he said.

The Congress, which had 10 MLAs in the 243-member
Bihar Assembly, did not put up any candidate. Out of the 39
votes that Paswan got, 22 were from RJD, 12 from LJP, three
from CPI and two from independents.

Paswan said that in Rajya Sabha, he would raise issues
concerning Dalits like immediate passing of and amendment to
make the SC/ST reservation an Act, which is at present a
Government Order (GO), seek reservation for SC/ST in private
sector and judiciary and immediate passing of women`s
reservation bill after incorporating a sub-quota for Dalits
and minorities and increasing the number of Lok Sabha seats by
33 per cent.

A BSP leader from Punjab, Jai Singh, also joined LJP
today. Paswan described Singh as "one of founder leaders of
Kanshi Ram`s party" and appointed him as a party general
secretary.

PTI