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Bardhan, Paswan's verbal duel

May 21, 2005 01:12 IST

A seminar to mark one year of the United Progressive Alliance government turned into a verbal duel between Communist Party of India leader A B Bardhan and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan on government formation in Bihar.

Bardhan asked Paswan to choose between secular and communal forces while the latter asked the former to fight corruption with the "same spirit" as communalism.

But leaders, including Paswan and Bardhan as well as those from Congress and other Left parties, stressed that differences between the UPA and its supporting parties should be sorted out through discussions.

On Bihar and Jharkhand, Bardhan said the National Democratic Alliance could have been defeated had the secular parties contested elections together.

"But someone took it (assembly polls) as an opportunity to increase his political space, someone else thought he would fight his private battle and some other could not decide whether to fight Lalu or the NDA," he said.

On Jharkhand government formation, Bardhan launched a broadside against Bharatiya Janata Party for "kidnapping and abducting" legislators and "buying them over" to form government.

"I feel a similar situation will prevail in Bihar and NDA will come to power through similar illegal practices. Is keeping the assembly in suspended animation meant to allow parties to buy MLAs? Why should the assembly not be dissolved," the CPI leader asked.

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