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Paswan renews alliance offer to Congress

January 08, 2005 15:08 IST

With cracks appearing between the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal over sharing of seats in Jharkhand, Lok Janshakti Party president Ramvilas Paswan on Saturday renewed his call to the Congress and the Janata Dal (United) to join forces with his party for next month's Bihar assembly elections.

"The electorate of Bihar yearn for a change and for this they want the Congress, LJP and JD (U) to unitedly fight the assembly elections," he said and offered the post of chief minister to the Congress or JD (U) if the proposed alliance emerged victorious.

Also see: Congress, JMM finalise seat-sharing in Jharkhand

"I have no desire to become chief minister and want to contribute my bit to restore social and communal harmony in Bihar," he told reporters.

Rejecting JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar's overtures to him to return to the National Democratic Alliance, Paswan said: "The JD (U) leaders fail to realise that my joining the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA would re-consolidate the Muslim-Yadav vote-bank of the RJD."

Paswan said the Muslim-Yadav combination, which enabled Lalu Prasad's party to remain in power for 15 years, had been broken with a significant chunk of the minorities shifting their loyalty to the LJP. "This is a golden opportunity for the Congress to get rid of Lalu," he said.

Paswan even went to the extent of offering the Congress to lead the electoral fight against RJD in Bihar and said: "I am prepared to make any sacrifice to bring an end to the RJD misrule."

Paswan termed as unreasonable the RJD's displeasure over Friday's seat-sharing arrangement between the Congress
and JMM (Soren). "The Congress could have had the same grudge against the RJD when despite being the largest national party, it was offered only four seats in Bihar in the last Lok Sabha election," he said.


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