Thursday, August 20, 2009

Amitabh Srivastav : Cong not to help revive RJD & LJP

Cong not to help revive RJD & LJP in Bihar
Amitabh Srivastava
August 20, 2009

The world may have celebrated Friendship Day this month, but Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan have had no such luck in Bihar. With the new incharge of Congress in Bihar, Jagdish Tytler, all speculations have been put to rest about reviving ties with the regional parties."There will be no alliances with regional parties in future in Bihar. The Congress is going to fight elections on its own strength. In fact, all Congressmen are against stitching alliances in Bihar," Tytler recently said.Incidentally, both Tytler and state Congress chief Anil Sharma are crooning the Ekla Chalo tune, claiming that the Congress had lost its support base in Bihar while playing second fiddle to the alliances. This has made it clear that Congress will have no truck with its erstwhile allies in the ensuing by-elections in Bihar.Incidentally, Tytler's assertion has come at a time when speculations about Paswan working out a coalition formula with Congress in Bihar were gradually gaining ground in political circles. Now it seems all over.The two friends, Lalu and Paswan might have had some heartburn over Congress posturing, but they always have a consolation prize-of course each other's shoulders.But, Lalu may still be hoping to bridge the gulf after he called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi, fanning speculations that the RJD chief just revived his efforts at stitching up of a fresh tie-up with the grand old party. The two leaders met for the first time since the UPA-2 took office.Although the RJD chief said the meeting was to discuss drought in Bihar, Lalu's apparent climb down to approach Sonia is seen in the context of the ensuing by-elections in Bihar where the RJD's popularity base has nosedived lately. Worse still, a section of the Congress is also keen on going it alone in the state.Bihar is set to witness a kind of mini-election next month when 18 Assembly seats will go to bypolls. Both Lalu and Paswan are hoping to turn these bypolls into a launch pad for their beleaguered parties in Bihar.But to achieve this, Lalu and Paswan will have to win over the former ally to prevent split of anti-NDA votes in Bihar. As of now, the ice does not seem melting though.