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The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald
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March 17, 2009

Lalu, Paswan to contest 37 seats, Congress furious

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) have decided to field candidates in 37 out of 40 constituencies in Bihar, leaving just three for Congress.

RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan today made the announcement that they would fight the election as allies of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

They claimed that they would fight the election on the plank of secularism. However, this arrangement has left the Congress seething, as it has been left with a mere three seats to field its candidates.

Sources said that the Congress president Sonia Gandhi is upset with the development. While Lalu holds sway with Yadavas and sections of backward communities other than Muslims, Paswan has a strong following among Dalits.

The Muslim community also identified itself with Paswan, who had joined the NDA government but quit over the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat. The alliance can add to the troubles of BJP, though the JD(U)-BJP government has created an image for good governance.

Meanwhile, Lalu Yadav has to deal with a revolt in his own house. His brother-in-law and MP Sadhu Yadav has charged him of surrendering to Paswan. He has protested the decision to field film-maker Prakash Jha from Bettiah constituency.

TIH Bureau



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