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Home > News > PTI

Choose allies wisely: Paswan to Congress

From Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | September 10, 2005 14:22 IST
Last Updated: September 10, 2005 14:51 IST

Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday said it is for the Congress to decide whether it wanted to go to polls in Bihar on a "larger" United Progressive Alliance platform comprising of a majority of its allies or with the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

Asking the Congress leadership to steer clear of the controversy over the issue of a Muslim chief minister, Paswan asserted he was ready to make any sacrifice for the uplift of minorities, Dalits and other weaker sections.

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"By stating that our party's demand for a Muslim chief minister is unreasonable and impractical, the Congress has done political hara-kiri. Its secular credentials are now at stake," Paswan told Press Trust of India.

The Union Minister for Steel, Chemicals and Fertilisers also ruled out the possibility of his resignation from the UPA "under pressure" from any quarter, including that of the RJD.

"If LJP's demand is unreasonable, what can we say about RJD leader Lalu Prasad's obduracy in projecting his wife Rabri Devi as Chief Minister? Does it augur well for the Congress to align with Lalu Prasad who is instrumental in increasing the communal and fascist forces represented by the National Democratic Alliance?

"It is now for the Congress to choose between the RJD and the LJP and retract from its stand describing my party's insistence on a Muslim becoming chief minister as unreasonable and impractical," he said adding,"If Congress goes with Lalu, it will face the bitter truth in polls."

Reiterating that the LJP would not make any compromise and would maintain an equal distance from both RJD and BJP, Paswan claimed, "The LJP represents the larger UPA with support of majority of its allies in Bihar. The ball is now in Congress' court, to decide whether it wants to stay with us or join hands with the RJD."

Taking strong exception toLalu's demand that Paswan quit or leave UPA, Paswan said that Lalu should quit UPA as he has become a liability. "Does the UPA mean only Lalu or RJD?" Paswan asked.

(With inputs from PTI)

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