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RJD signals final break with Congress

March 22, 2009 00:23 IST

Signalling a final break with Congress in Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad on Saturday said his party and Lok Janshakti Party will put up candidates in the three Lok Sabha constituencies now held by the Sonia Gandhi-led party in the state.

Taking a jibe at Congress' decision to contest 37 of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, he said "if they (Congress) were so strong, why were they demanding seats from us? Instead, we should have demanded the seats from them."

Earlier this week, RJD and LJP headed by Ram Vilas Paswan announced a seat-sharing deal in Bihar leaving just three seats for Congress held by it now.

Prasad said he held Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in high esteem and insisted RJD was still "part and parcel of UPA". "We (LJP and RJD) are in UPA in Bihar. Congress alone is not UPA," he said.

Ridiculing Congress' decision to leave three seats in Bihar- two from where Prasad is contesting and the other where Paswan is in fray, Prasad said "why are they leaving three seats? Let them contest all 40 seats."

Prasad dismissed suggestions that desertion of his borther in law Sadhu Yadav, a sitting MP from party and some other RJD leaders, could weaken RJD. He urged the media not to describe Sadhu Yadav as his brother- in-law saying, "we have been purified with their (Yadav and other RJD leaders, who joined Congress) exit".

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