Hitting back at Congress, two United Progressive Alliance constituents and an ally, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Lok Janshakti Party and Samajwadi Party, on Thursday announced the formation of a "secular alliance" that will contest 120 seats in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar unitedly. "We three are together. We will fight jointly in North India. We will not clash with each other in the two states having 120 Lok Sabha seats," Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh declared at a press conference in New Delhi.
LJP Chief Ram Vilas Paswan said in Patna that he had talked to SP President Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD leader Lalu Prasad and the three parties would provide an "alternative" in the fight against "communal forces". Singh said a formal announcement of the alliance would be made at a function in Delhi on March 30. He also announced that Paswan has agreed to drop his plans to field former Prime Minister V P Singh's son Ajay Singh from Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh.
The SP leader's assertion comes close on the heels of Congress announcing that it would contest most of the 40 seats in Bihar and a large number of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh. In the last one week, the three parties have been drifting away from Congress after it announced its plans to contest against the allies in a number of seats in the two states in the wake of failure of seat-sharing talks.