RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Saturday dismissed the possibility of his ally Ram Vilas Paswan joining the Congress after the Bihar Assembly elections, saying it was a baseless rumour being spread by opponents.
"The speculation that Paswanji will ditch me and join the Congress government at the Centre is baseless and a rumour spreaded by opponents at election time for ulterior political motive," Prasad said in Patna.
"Paswanji is concentrating totally on Bihar elections. It is my perception that anti-Mandal forces have started playing tricks to create confusion among the people so that the NDA can gain. I tell you that such mischievous elements will not succeed," he claimed.
Turning his attention to Congress, Prasad said AICC leader Rahul Gandhi, while targeting the rule of Rabri Devi, seems to have forgotten that his party was a partner.
"The Congress is responsible for non-development of Bihar and is making baseless allegations now to mislead the electorate," he said.
He said the Congress had betrayed the RJD which had helped it in mid 2000 to assume power at the Centre by supporting the UPA-I government. "We gave Congress the crown of Delhi and we are receiving brickbats in return".
Claiming that the Congress had no base in Bihar and was making a futile attempt to gain a foothold, Prasad said "We will also not in future join forces with the Congress, which has hoodwinked and cheated us and will contest elections with other like-minded secular parties."
The Congress was contesting all 243 seats to help the NDA, with which it was hand-in-glove, he claimed, and pointed to efforts of the party to ensure passage of the Women's Reservation Bill in its present form, opposed vociferously by the RJD and SP.