Bargaining for seats in Bihar, Union railway minister Lalu Prasad has sprung a surprise on LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan. Fresh from his record revenue-making run, Lalu demonstrated why he could still be the Guru of politics.
Like a corporate honcho, armed with facts and figures before a board meeting, Prasad cornered the LJP with a presentation of the 2005 Assembly poll figures for both parties —segment by segment.
The voluminous fact file has got the LJP edgy, if insiders are to be believed. The data covers performance across all 243 Assembly constituencies in the May 2004 and October 2005 elections. This is proving too hot for the LJP managers to match. Sources close to Prasad said the constituency-wise figures do not match up to the LJP’s request for more seats. The figures clearly bolster the RJD’s claims.
They added, that Lalu simply wanted a logical argument that every seat the LJP was asking for might not be winnable on the basis of the vote percentage of 2005 polls. It is also a strategic way to push the LJP chief to a climbdown from his demand of 16 seats and assert the RJD’s larger vote base in Bihar. Lalu is firm on his claim not to leave any of his 22 sitting seats.