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Sadhu Yadav sets terms to join Congress

March 17, 2009 20:30 IST
Controversial brother-in-law of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, Sadhu Yadav on Tuesday met Union minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and expressed his desire to join the Congress.

"I have put up certain conditions for joining Congress," Yadav told medi persons after meeting Shinde but declined to reveal the details.

Sadhu Yadav, a Member of Parliament from Gopalganj seat in Bihar, was accompanied by former Union minister Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad as well as a senior RJD leader Ramai Ram when he met Shinde.

The trio huddled into an hour-long discussion with Shinde, who said he will convey their desires to join Congress to the party high command. The development follows Prasad's announcement of seat- sharing with Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party in Bihar.

Yadav, whose Gopalganj seat had been converted into a reserved seat post the delimitation, hold a parallel press conference while Prasad was making the announcement.

Disapproving the RJD-LJP agreement, Yadav said he himself would contest from the two seats allotted to LJP.

Earlier, convicted RJD MP from Madhepura Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav also met Shinde, a day after he had gone to the All India Congress Committee office in New Delhi to meet the party's Bihar in-charge Iqbal Singh. Singh was also present when Shinde met the rebel leaders.

Addressing media persons along with Shinde and Singh, Yadav said he was ready to contest the elections.

Yadav also praised Sonia Gandhi hailing her "as the leader of the country", who has made sacrifices.

Shinde acknowledged that it was Lalu Prasad who first described Sonia Gandhi as "daughter-in-law of the country". He said this showed Prasad's love and respect for the Congress leadership.

In the same breath, Shinde also said, "We also expect some honourable settlement on seat sharing".

Asked whether he would be reaching out to Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan to resolve the matter, he said, "I don't think so."

Shinde sidestepped a question whether the Congress would take a "tainted" leader like Sadhu Yadav. When asked whether these developments would have its bearing on Jharkhand seat sharing, Shinde simply said, "Right now we are confronting the Bihar problem."

He, however, dismissed suggestions that the cracks in the United Progressive Alliance in Bihar had led to problems for the alliance's rule at the Centre.

"They are still with UPA. The government is as it is under the leadership of Manmohan Singh," Shinde said.

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