Lalu Prasad supports Paswan for a Dalit PM | patna | Hindustan Times
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Lalu Prasad supports Paswan for a Dalit PM

patna Updated: Feb 02, 2009 05:57 IST
Anirban Guha Roy

In a deft political move, RJD chief and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on Sunday came in open support of Union Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s stand that the country should get a Dalit prime minister. Lalu even supported Paswan’s desire of heading the UPA leadership in Bihar stating that the proposition was totally acceptable to him.

“We will like to see a Dalit as prime minister. We will wholeheartedly support any such move,” said Lalu, while talking to newsmen at the state party office.

Lalu’s comment is significant in view of Paswan’s proclaimed prime ministerial aspirations.

Interestingly, the RJD chief sounded a bit mellowed down in his comments on the proposed seat sharing arrangement with Paswan and Congress’s stand of not striking a national alliance with UPA allies. It was evident when Lalu expressed no qualms in justifying the demand of Lok Janshakti Party to ask for 20 seats in exchange of pre-poll alliance.

“Paswan is a big force in Bihar. He is quite justified in demanding the seats,” Lalu said. To a query on LJP’s stand that he could contest alone in Bihar, Lalu stressed that he could do little in that case. “For that matter, if the Congress wants to contest all seats alone across the country, can I stop it?” he said, giving oblique hints that there were still lot of ‘ifs and buts’ in a pre-poll alliance coming up between UPA alliance in Bihar.

Significantly, Lalu did not spare any opportunity woo Paswan as he endorsed the LJP’s chief stand of steering the leadership of UPA in Bihar.

It may be noted, Paswan has expressed that he would like to lead the UPA in Bihar instead of Lalu doing so. “Why will I have any problem if Paswan wants to head the UPA in Bihar. I am not a leader of UPA but only the leader of the RJD,” Lalu said.