With Bihar polls in mind, Congress keen to ally with Paswan
Keen to revive the party's prospects in Bihar ahead of assembly elections in 2010, some Congress leaders from the state are in favour of an alliance with Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan, but only if he parts ways with Rashtriya Janata Dal boss Lalu Prasad.india Updated: Jul 21, 2009 16:18 IST
Keen to revive the party's prospects in Bihar ahead of assembly elections in 2010, some Congress leaders from the state are in favour of an alliance with Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan, but only if he parts ways with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) boss Lalu Prasad.
"There is a strong feeling among Congress leaders and workers from Bihar that the party should have an alliance with Paswan during the assembly elections, but they want it only if he leaves Lalu Prasad," a senior Congress leader from Bihar told IANS.
The Congress leaders say that an alliance with Paswan will help the party get Dalit votes, while Lalu Prasad has been antagonising the upper castes by speaking against them.
With this in mind, "some Congress leaders are trying to help Paswan get into the Rajya Sabha after his defeat in the Lok Sabha election, and are trying to convince the party leadership on this", a Congress leader said.
Paswan is being considered for the Rajya Sabha seat that Delhi Congress chief JP Aggarwal is vacating after winning the Lok Sabha elections from North-East Delhi.
Paswan was union minister of steel and chemicals and fertilizers from 2004-09 in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. However, ahead of the general elections he teamed up with Lalu Prasad and parted ways with the Congress after they failed to reach a seat-sharing arrangement on Bihar for the polls.
Paswan's party lost all eight seats that it contested in the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar. The Congress won two seats, while the RJD managed to bag only four seats.