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Sonia will need RJD after polls, says Lalu

IANS
Mar 21, 2009 at 07:54pm IST

New Delhi: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad has said his party and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) will stick to their seat sharing formula in Bihar and he can’t help the Congress.

"If the Congress wants to field its candidates they can, but (Congress chief) Sonia Gandhi will realise the importance of the RJD after the elections," he said in New Delhi on Saturday

"In the present scenario, neither the Congress nor the BJP can come to power on its own. We can't help if the Congress is unhappy with the seat sharing in Bihar. During the last assembly elections, we left 90 seats for Congress, but they won only nine and that too with RJD's support."

BIHAR IS OURS: RJD chief Lalu Prasad and LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan in Delhi after seat-sharing talks.

Lalu rejected talk about a spilt in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), saying his party continued to be a part of the ruling coalition. "We are still in the UPA. If anyone wants to part ways with the RJD, they can leave," he said.

The RJD chief made the statements after the Congress announced it would fight 37 of Bihar's 40 seats. The RJD and the LJP have shared most of the Bihar seats between them and have left just three for the Congress. Prasad claimed the decision was correct. "We will give only three seats to the Congress and there will be no reconsideration on this."

"If you (Congress) were so strong, why did you ask us for seats? We would have come to you, instead of the other way around."

He said the Congress had no standing in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. "We are part and parcel of the UPA and we will not criticise the Congress during the campaign in Bihar. I respect Sonia Gandhi but she is under pressure from party leaders from Bihar."

He asserted that the Congress was not the sole political party in the UPA. "It is not just the Congress, the UPA was formed on the strength of all of us."

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