New Delhi: Putting at rest the speculation
about the possibility of his joining the Union Cabinet, former
Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said he would play the
role of an opposition leader.
"It (joining cabinet) is completely wrong. We will play
the role of the Opposition and I will try to raise the issues
concerning Dalits and the poor, which could not find a voice
in the Upper House after the Rajya Sabha term of most of Dalit
leaders got over," Paswan told reporters here.
He was responding to speculations that he may find a
place in the Union Cabinet likely to be shuffled by Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh in near future.
While thanking Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her
political advisor Ahmed Patel for personally wishing him on
his 64th birthday yesterday, Paswan said, "it is my political
decision not to become a Minister and instead give a voice to
the Dalit issues in Parliament."
Paswan, whose party has announced to contest the upcoming
Bihar Assembly elections in alliance with Lalu Prasad-led RJD,
said, "We will live with RJD and die with RJD. Ram Vilas
Paswan minus RJD and vice versa is unthinkable. Our alliance
is rock solid and unbreakable."
When asked if there is any possibility of his joining
hands with Congress for Bihar polls, he said, "There is no
question of going hither or thither. We have very little left
for the elections."
The Congress had already on July 5 said that there was
"little possibility" of the party forging any alliance with
LJP for the Bihar polls.
"LJP and RJD will form the next government in Bihar with
two third majority," Paswan said.
The LJP chief announced that he and Prasad will launch a
joint campaign in Bihar from July 16 and cover 50
constituencies - 40 by chopper and the rest 10 by road.
The first phase of the joint campaign will start from
Madhepura and cover most of Kosi-flood affected areas.
"Congress is trying to revive there while we (RJD-LJP)
are trying to form a government. There is a difference between
reviving and forming a government," he said.