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Jiaram Ramesh refuses to show cards on alliance

Friday, 24 January 2014 - 8:01pm IST | Agency: PTI
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Playing his cards close to the chest,Union minister Jairam Ramesh today said talks on alliance for Lok Sabha polls in Bihar was on and a decision would be taken in "a few days."

"Talks are on and a decision will be taken in a few days," Ramesh told reporters.

Asked about the choice between Lalu Prasad and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, he refused to give a pointed answer and said "all options are open."

He, however, said that majority opinion even that of state unit was to have a partner for the polls in Bihar and not go it alone.

When asked if Kumar's image of a "development man" and charges of corruption against RJD President Lalu Prasad would influence the decision on alliance, he said "I have not come here to give a chit of being good or corrupt to anyone." Ramesh, considered close to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and a strategist for him, said the decision on alliance would be finalised on two conditions.

First is to strengthen the secular forces in Bihar and second to give muscle to development of the state, Ramesh flanked by PCC chief Ashok Chaudhary said.

To a question if there was division within Congress in making choice between RJD and JD(U), he said "Congress is not a divided house...but no doors have been shut by us." Replying to a question if corruption was no criteria for finalising alliance and isn't going with Lalu Prasad would damage their reputation, he said corruption is a big agenda for Congress which would in no case make any compromise on it.

"The UPA government on initiative of Rahul Gandhi has passed Lokpal bill and by February end Lokayuktas will be appointed in states," he said. In reply to a question about his personal equation with the Bihar CM, he said it was good but said whenever they meet they do not talk politics but about development particularly in the rural sectors.

Refusing to show its cards whether it will go with RJD or JD(U), Union minister Jairam Ramesh today said talks on alliance for Lok Sabha polls in Bihar was on and a decision would be taken in "a few days." "Talks are on and a decision will be taken in a few days," Ramesh told reporters.

Asked about choice between Lalu Prasad and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, he refused to give a pointed answer and said "all options are open."

He, however, said that majority opinion even that of state unit was to have partner for the polls in Bihar and not go alone in the husting.

When asked if Kumar's image of a "development man" and charges of corruption against RJD President Lalu Prasad would influence the decision on alliance, he said "I have not come here to give chit of being good or corrupt to anyone." Ramesh, considered close to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and a strategist for him, said the decision on alliance would be finalised on two conditions.

First is to strengthen the secular forces in Bihar and second to give muscle to development of the state, Ramesh flanked by PCC chief Ashok Chaudhary said.

To a question if there was division within Congress in making choice between RJD and JD(U), he said "Congress is not a divided house...but no doors have been shut by us." Replying to a question if corruption was no criteria for finalising alliance and isn't going with Lalu Prasad would damage their reputation, he said corruption is a big agenda for Congress which would in no case make any compromise on it.

"The UPA government on initiative of Rahul Gandhi has passed Lokpal bill and by February end Lokayuktas will be appointed in states," he said. In reply to a question about his personal equation with the Bihar CM, he said it was good but said whenever they meet they do not talk politics but about development particularly in the rural sectors. 




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