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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Rabri Devi confident of alliance with Congress

IANS  Patna, October 22, 2013
First Published: 16:21 IST(22/10/2013) | Last Updated: 16:24 IST(22/10/2013)

Former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi said she is hopeful and confident that the Congress will join hands with her party RJD to strengthen secular alliance in the state for the 2014 general elections.

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"I am hopeful and confident that Congress will join hands with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) for next Lok sabha polls," said Rabri Devi soon after her husband, RJD chief Lalu Prasad was disqualified from the Lok Sabha on Tuesday after his conviction in the fodder scam case early this month.

Rabri Devi, clad in her usual colourful sari with bindi on her forehead, said that the RJD is always keen on an alliance with the Congress to minimise splitting of secular votes in Bihar.

Without naming the Congress, Rabri Devi said Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's game of playing the secular card needs to be understood.

"Nitish Kumar dumped Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for Muslim votes. People understand this and everyone should realise it. Nitish Kumar is trying to become a secular leader for last few months," she said.

Rabri Devi claimed that the RJD has been getting overwhelming support of people after Lalu Prasad was convicted and sent to jail.

"After Chhath, the most popular festival in Bihar, I will tour the state from November to inform people about the conspiracy to victimise Laluji and mobilise them for the party," she said.

Lalu's trusted alliance partner Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan Tuesday met Rabri Devi at her residence in Patna.

"Paswan met Rabri Devi for the first time after Lalu was convicted. This meeting is a significant move to strengthen secular alliance in Bihar," an RJD leader close to Rabri Devi said.

He refused to divulge more about their meeting.

Paswan has publicly expressed his stand for an alliance with the  Congress, RJD and his Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) to defeat the BJP in next general elections.

The buzz in political circles here is that Nitish Kumar is soft towards the Congress and is in favour of an alliance with the Congress to counter the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Nitish Kumar has hinted time and again that he will support a party that will grant special category status to Bihar - in fulfilment of his long-standing demand.

Nitish Kumar declined to give a straight answer while interacting with media persons Monday when asked about alliance with the Congress.


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