The sudden bonhomie between RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan has set alarm bells ringing in Bihar Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
The grand old party's decision not to go for a national alliance and instead go for state specific tie-ups appears to have emboldened the two UPA constituents to galvanize their strength in their backyard.
Congress, which was given a 'raw deal' in the last Lok Sabha elections by handing out only four of the 40 seats in the seat sharing, fears whether the same fate awaits it this time too.
"Prasad's sudden closeness to Paswan aims at pressurising Congress into accepting to contest only on four seats, which we were forced to accept last time," a senior party leader from Bihar, who declined to be named, said.
Last time too, we were trying to keep Paswan with us before talking to Prasad on seat sharing but ultimately they got together and made us accept just four seats as against our demand of 21.
This time, Congress wants 17 seats and is even ready to settle for 10, but now everything looks uncertain. It has been marginalised in the key state of the Hindi heartland for the last two decades in the wake of the resurgence of Mandal and Mandir issues.