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Lalu unhappy with 3-phase polling

December 17, 2004 23:57 IST
Last Updated: December 18, 2004 00:33 IST

Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad on Friday expressed his displeasure over the Election Commission's decision to have a three-phase assembly poll in Bihar.

"Though RJD has always been prepared to face a one-day or staggered polls, we have decided to approach the Election Commission requesting it to revise the poll schedule for Bihar keeping in mind the budget session of Parliament," Prasad told reporters.

"A great deal of effort goes into the making of the railway and the general budgets and the EC should have taken note of these while announcing the poll dates," Prasad said.

The EC should have take into confidence political parties while announcing the schedule, he said.

While other political parties in Bihar and Jharkhand were not unhappy with the announcement, many expressed reservations about the long gaps between the polling dates.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, on the other hand, alleged the EC decision to hold a staggered poll was taken under "duress" from Congress.

"We had sought a one-day polling as we feared that a staggered poll will enable RJD goons to travel from one place to another to capture booths and rig the elections," Bihar BJP president Gopal Narain Singh said.

He said a meeting of state officials of the party has been convened on Saturday to discuss the issue.

The Communist party of India-Marxist expressed displeasure over ''abnormal'' gap between the dates.

Congress spokesman Sailesh Sinha welcomed the EC decision, which, he said, may have been taken keeping the naxal menace in mind.

Senior Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Sailendra Bhattacharya also welcomed the decision.

Meanwhile, the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party said it favoured tie-ups with the RJD and the Congress in Bihar, and JMM in Jharkhand.

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Read about: Assembly Election 2003 | Attack on Parliament

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