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LJP president Ramvilas Paswan leaves alliance decision to Congress

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 - 6:27pm IST Updated: Tuesday, 21 January 2014 - 6:29pm IST | Place: Patna | Agency: PTI

Amid reports of Congress' dilemma over choosing between RJD and JD(U) as alliance partner in Bihar for the general elections, LJP president Ramvilas Paswan on Tuesday said his party has left the decision to the Congress.

"LJP has left the decision on alliance to Congress and will go with it wherever it goes," Paswan told reporters making his party's stand clear.

On a question about whether he would side with Lalu Prasad's RJD or Nitish Kumar's JD(U), he said "I have left this to the Congress."

Paswan, however, said he had suggested Congress to take a decision on the alliance by the end of January to allow enough time for preparation for the elections.

Paswan's statement came a day after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar spoke kind words about him with the LJP president thanking him and describing Kumar as an "old friend." "I and Nitish Kumar are from the same school of socialist ideology...it is fate that we are in different parties," he said.

Paswan admitted Kumar had a proposal for him to become the Chief Minister of Bihar after the 2005 Assembly elections, but formation of government with LJP, JD(U) and Independents was not possible and he had declined the offer.

On relations with the RJD, he said LJP workers felt displeased over remarks of a senior leader of that party on first disclosing the names of winnable candidates before seeking seats. 

RJD vice-president and former Union Minister Raghubansh Prasad Singh had asked LJP to first disclose names of their "pahalwans" (winnable candidates) before seeking seats.

He had said the old practise of claiming seats and then looking for candidates would not be followed this time.

Paswan, however, clarified that since there was no statement from either him or Lalu Prasad, it was wrong to say relations between the two parties have soured.

The LJP chief criticised Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for staging a dharna against the Centre and said it lowered people's faith on the fledgling party.

"It's like using a battle tank to kill a mosquito," he said about the dharna.

"No citizen will justify the police searching a woman at her home at midnight without a warrant," he said, adding a Chief Minister sitting on dharna was not in accordance with dignity of the high post.

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