Sonia should not contest poll says Laloo
In a significant development, former Bihar
chief minister Laloo Prasad Yadav came out on Monday against the
demand in the Congress that Sonia Gandhi be made the party's prime
ministerial candidate and said she should confine herself to
campaigning for the party to avoid controversies.
Yadav's statement comes in the wake of week-long media
speculation of a rift between the supporters of Congress president
Sitaram Kesri and Sonia over the role to be assigned to
her in the post-poll scenario. Yadav is considered close
''In my opinion she should neither contest the Lok Sabha
election nor be an aspirant for the prime minister's post. I also
understand that she is not in the race for any post,'' the
Rashtriya Janata Dal president told reporters in Delhi.
By not contesting the election, he said, Sonia
could thwart the Sangh Parivar's campaign against her. ''Mrs Gandhi is an Indian and should be
encouraged to wage a relentless campaign against communal forces,''
he said, adding that her entry has infused confidence among
Congressmen and pricked the propaganda balloon of the Bharatiya
Asked about chances of his becoming the next prime minister,
Yadav said he was not in the race for the PM or the Bihar CM's posts.
''I do not consider myself even the king maker any more," he quipped.
Yadav said he would contest the general election from the
Madherpura constituency which was won in 1996 by his current adversary, Janata Dal
president Sharad Yadav.
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