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UPA allies to contest in Jharkhand together: Lalu

March 17, 2009 23:21 IST

After sealing the poll pact for Bihar with the Lok Janshakti Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal has declared that the United Progressive Alliance will also contest on similar lines in Jharkhand.

"We will contest jointly even in Jharkhand. On Wednesday we will announce that," RJD chief Lalu Prasad told media persons after announcing the seat sharing for Bihar.

In Jharkhand, having 14 Lok Sabha seats, UPA ally Jharkhand Mukti Morcha had announced that seat sharing agreement was finalised for the state under a "sitting getting" and "no friendly fight" formulae, a claim which was later rejected by former chief minister Shibu Soren's son Durga Soren.

The junior Soren had said no alliance is possible in Jharkhand unless UPA agrees to give his father or to another party Member of Legislative Alliance the chief ministership of the state.

In the earlier agreement, JMM, RJD and Congress had agreed to retain the 12 seats currently held by the respective parties.

The remaining two seats -- Hazariabagh and Koderma held by the Communist Party of India and an independent -- were to be decided among the three allies -- RJD, Congress and JMM.

Interestingly, the LJP had already declared its intention to fight all the Lok Sabha seats there alone and even declared candidates on few.

Paswan's party was reportedly demanding one seat in Jharkhand to contest under the UPA alliance. Following the "non response" from its allies, LJP had declared candidates on six seats as "it was not consulted by RJD, JMM and Congress" during the earlier seat-sharing agreement for the state.

Sources said LJP's demand in Jharkhand was, however, discussed in the recent meeting between the party's senior leaders and RJD chief Lalu Prasad during the parleys for Bihar alliance.

Meanwhile, Congress is visibly upset with the RJD-LJP agreement in Bihar which left them with only three seats and threatens to go alone in the state complaining of being given a "raw deal". The development has cast a shadow over the proposed seat-sharing exercise among the UPA allies in Jharkhand.

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