Trying to reach out to RJD for crucial bypoll for two Rajya Sabha seats, JD(U), which is faced with stiff challenge from dissidents supported by BJP, today praised Lalu Prasad and exuded confidence he would never side with the saffron party. "Lalu Prasad has been fighting against BJP and its communal politics... he will definitely not do anything that may help BJP in anyway," minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan told reporters. "The RJD supremo will play a positive role in the Rajya Sabha bypoll in Bihar given his averseness to the BJP," he said.
With battle line drawn between the party and rebels who have propped up two Independent candidates against official nominees with the help of BJP, vote of RJD would be critical to decide the result. RJD which has 21 members in Legislative Assembly, whose effective strength at present is 232, holds the key to election on two seats of Upper House. The party Legislators have authorised Lalu Prasad to take a decision on RS poll.
If RJD votes against JD(U) it would help Independents who are counting on votes of JD(U) rebels, 84 of BJP and two Independents. JD(U) has a total strength of 117 including Speaker. It enjoys support of 4 member Congress, 2 Independents and CPI 1.
But, with a sizeable number of rebels turning against the party, the ruling party is facing threat to ensure victory of its two candidates-- Pawan Varma and Gulam Rasool Balyawi. Lallan's praise for Lalu Prasad is seen as efforts to win him to its side in the battle for numbers.
For victory, a candidate needs 51 per cent of the vote of the House that means 118 vote.
Lallan's efforts to reach out to RJD comes close on heels of state party president Basistha Narayan Singh praising Prasad for successfully fighting BJP and its communal politics and saying the party would welcome RJD support to strengthen secular forces.