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RJD not in Congress’s poll plan

The move to isolate the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) continues.

delhi Updated: Sep 08, 2009 01:02 IST
Saroj Nagi

The move to isolate the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) continues.

The Congress is unlikely to tie up with Lalu Prasad’s party in Jharkhand during the state polls expected in December. But a seat sharing arrangement with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha is not being ruled out.

On Monday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi set up a five member panel to tour the state and assess the party’s electoral prospects and provide a feedback on the issue of alliances.

Jharkhand in-charge K Kesava Rao, senior leaders Mukul Wasnik, Harikesh Bahadur, Shakeel Ahmed and Chandan Bagchi will submit their report in a week’s time.

These leaders will cover the five divisions of the state. Gandhi had a preliminary stock taking session with these leaders on Monday.

Though the issue of alliances would be firmed up later, most state leaders want the Congress to keep a distance from the RJD.

“Any tie up with the RJD would mean going for a tie up with Prasad in Bihar also…,” a state leader said adding that the party must focus on rebuilding itself in the state.

Meanwhile, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi dismissed as “melodrama’’ the BJP’s move to get its MLAs to resign on September 9 to force early elections.

BJP permits 22 MLAs to quit

To put pressure for early elections in Jharkhand, the BJP’s parliamentary board permitted all its 22 MLAs to resign their seats on September 9.

It also decided on filing a writ petition in the Supreme Court. Home Minister P Chidambaram had promised that elections will be held in the state after monsoons but the government failed to keep its word, BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar.