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Stalemate in Bihar continues

March 02, 2005 00:39 IST

The uncertainty over who will form the next government in Bihar continued on Tuesday, with Ramvilas Paswan again ruling out any rapprochement with Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal. 

But the RJD chief claimed that his party would stake claim to form a 'secular' government with or without Paswan's support.

"We have the necessary numbers [of MLAs] and we will prove our majority on the floor of the assembly. I am not a person who gives up easily," Lalu told a press conference after Rabri was unanimously elected to lead the Rashtriya Janata Dal legislature party.

Asked which parties were likely to support him, Lalu said, "I will not disclose this, but I have received letters from several parties and independents promising support to us."

However, he also said his party would sit in the Opposition if it failed to get the numbers to form the government.

Meanwhile, Paswan met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and suggested to her that a new government could be formed by seeking the help of Bharatiya Janata Party ally Janata Dal (United) and other non-RJD and non-BJP members of Legislative Assembly. He pointed out to Gandhi that there were 132 non-BJP, non-RJD members in the 243-member House.

If that did not materialize then President's rule was the only option left, he told Sonia Gandhi.

Paswan also ruled out the possibility of seeking BJP's outside support to form the government, as was suggested by newly elected party MLAs.

Lalu Prasad Yadav's Man Friday and Union minister P C Gupta also met
Sonia Gandhi. He is understood to have impressed on her the need for speeding up efforts to cobble a secular coalition headed by his party.

In the National Democratic Alliance camp, Janata Dal (United) parliamentary board chairman Sharad Yadav ruled out any possibility of the party breaking ranks with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

There were reports of some JD (U) MLAs urging the party leadership to break its ties with the BJP.


Complete Coverage: Assembly Elections 2005

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