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Lalu meets CEC, assures cooperation

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | December 24, 2004 16:36 IST

Railway Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad on Friday met Chief Election Commissioner T S Krishnamurthy and his two deputies at the Nirvachan Sadan in New Delhi and submitted his written explanation to the show cause issued to him.

The EC had asked Lalu Prasad to reply by December 24 why his party should not be derecognised for violating the model code of conduct by distributing money to some dalit women in Bihar.

"Today was the last day of submitting my reply and we have done the same. Whatever I had to say has been submitted to the CEC and his two colleagues in writing and I am not willing to share the details with the media," he said later.

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Lalu Prasad, who had initially opposed holding of elections in three phases in Bihar, was singing a different tune after the meeting.

"I would have preferred the elections to be held in a single phase, but if the Election Commission has decided then I have no problem. The last phase of the election is on February 23, 2005 and I can present my railway budget after that," he explained.

He made it clear that neither he nor his party wanted to challenge the EC's authority. "I have promised them that we will abide by the model code of conduct. We do not want to embarrass anyone. I cancelled the 'Maha Rally' not because the Election Commission told me, but because I felt that it would not be proper," he added.

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