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Won't dump RJD: Paswan

delhi Updated: Jun 18, 2010 22:03 IST

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LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, who returns to Parliament as a member of Rajya Sabha after a gap of one year, today ruled out dumping RJD to join hands with Congress and instead favoured a "grand secular unity" to defeat NDA in poll-bound Bihar.

"In Bihar there is no third force. It is a straight battle between communal forces led by Nitish Kumar and secular forces led by us there. Congress has to decide whether it wants to join the secular forces and cement the grand secular unity or not," Paswan told PTI after arriving here from Patna a day after he won the Rajya Sabha seat.

He at the same time said, "the alliance between RJD and LJP is rock solid" and "LJP-RJD combine in itself is competent enough to bring political change in Bihar."

"This question does not arise. LJP-RJD alliance is unbreakable," he said when asked whether he would consider leaving RJD for joining Congress because the latter is averse to having any truck with Lalu Prasad. Assembly election in BJP-JDU ruled state is to take place before October this year.

The former Union Minister, who had lost the last Lok Sabha elections from Hajipur, has won the Rajya Sabha seat without Congress support.

Congress, which had 10 MLAs in the 243-member Bihar Assembly, did not put up any candidate. Out of the 39 votes that Paswan got, 22 were from RJD, 12 from LJP, three from CPI and two from independents.

Paswan also lamented that Congress did not support his candidature for Rajya Sabha even after "a moneybag from Karnataka (a reference to industrialist B G Uday) had entered the fray, whose candidature was proposed among others by three MLAs of Congress itself".

"CPI decided to support my candidature and strengthen the the voice of the poor after seeing that the fight is between me and a moneybag. Congress could also have taken a similar decision," he said.

Paswan demanded that the Central government should immediately implement Ranganath Mishra Commission report, which suggested reservation for minorities, including Muslims.

"Muslims should get reservation in government jobs. After all, Justice Mishra, who recommended this measure for minorities himself did not belong to any minority community. He made the much-needed recommendation and there should not be any delay in implementing it," Paswan said citing the example of West Bengal government, which has announced its decision to give 10 per cent reservation to minorities.

"The issues of atrocities against Dalits, like the recent ones reported from Haryana and Gujarat, were not raised as vigorously as it should have been. I will take up these issues along with seeking reservation in private sector and judiciary," he added.