Decision on poll alliance with JD(U) after talks: Lalu Prasad Yadav

Patna, Jul 24 : RJD president Lalu Prasad today favoured an alliance with JD(U) for the bye-election on ten Assembly seats but said a decision on this will be taken only after talks between the leaders of the two parties. ”This is the right time for talks on poll alliance. We will take a decision about it after talks between the leaders of both parties,” Prasad told reporters after reaching here from New Delhi. Prasad’s response has come in the backdrop of JD(U)’s decision to forge a grand alliance of secular parties against the BJP in the bypoll for ten Assembly seats next month, considered a semi-final before next year’s crucial Assembly elections.

The JD(U) at its state executive meeting on Sunday last had announced its decision to go for seat-sharing with RJD in the upcoming Assembly bye-elections on August 21 as part of its efforts to have a tie-up in the next Assembly elections and had authorised its state president Basistha Narayan Singh to talk to secular parties on contesting the bypoll jointly. Singh had gone to Delhi on Sunday evening, where as per reports, he was to hold talks with Prasad and others.

With the arrival of RJD chief here, speculations are rife about a decision on a tie-up and finalisation of a seat sharing formula. The last date for filing nominations for the bye-election on ten Assembly seats is August 2. Nitish Kumar had favoured taking the Congress and the CPI in the secular alliance. The ten Assembly constituencies going to the bypolls in Bihar are Narkatiaganj, Rajnagar, Jale, Chapra, Hajipur, Mohiuddinagar, Parbatta, Bhagalpur, Banka and Mohania.
Five of them fell vacant after their representatives got elected to the Lok Sabha, while the rest became unoccupied due to resignations.

Commenting on reports of today’s clash between legislators of JD(U) and BJP in the Bihar Legislative Council, the RJD chief held the BJP responsible for it and said the party always resorted to such things when it starts losing ground. ”The BJP is frustrated. It has lost ground after coming to power at the Centre. Its graph has fallen down by 20 per cent and that is why they are behaving like this,” he said. Prasad also said that the Leader of Opposition in the Council and former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi was a “master at creating ruckus” and the BJP state president Mangal Pandey always said “amangal”(inauspicious) things. The clash between JD(U) and BJP legislators took place in the Legislative Council in the presence of former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.