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Paswan Will Never Join Congress: Lalu

Patna, Oct 16 : RJD chief Lalu Prasad today dismissed the possibility of his ally Ram Vilas Paswan joining the Congress after the Bihar Assembly elections, saying it was a baseless rumour being spread by
PTI October 16, 2010 11:53 IST
PTI

Patna, Oct 16 : RJD chief Lalu Prasad today dismissed the possibility of his ally Ram Vilas Paswan joining the Congress after the Bihar Assembly elections, saying it was a baseless rumour being spread by opponents.

"The speculation that Paswanji will ditch me and join the Congress government at the Centre is baseless and a rumour spreaded by opponents at election time for ulterior political motive," Prasad told PTI here.

'Paswanji is concentrating totally on Bihar elections. It is my perception that anti-Mandal forces have started playing tricks to create confusion among the people so that the NDA can gain. I tell you that such mischievous elements will not succeed," he claimed.

Turning his attention to Congress, Prasad said AICC leader Rahul Gandhi, while targeting the rule of Rabri Devi, seems to have forgotten that his party was a partner.

'The Congress is responsible for non-development of Bihar and is making baseless allegations now to mislead the electorate," he said.

He said the Congress had betrayed the RJD which had helped it in mid 2000 to assume power at the Centre by supporting the UPA-I government. "We gave Congress the crown of Delhi and we are receiving brickbats in return".

Claiming that the Congress had no base in Bihar and was making a futile attempt to gain a foothold, Prasad said "We will also not in future join forces with the Congress, which has hoodwinked and cheated us and will contest elections with other like-minded secular parties."

Prasad said the RJD-LJP alliance were locked in a fierce battle with the ruling NDA but there was a wrong interpretation of the situation because of media hype.

"The so-called development model of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is a misnomer. There is no substance in it. The only change, if there is one, is that bureaucrats and contractors have a free hand to mint money by siphoning off public funds. There is a scam in every closet of the government," he alleged.

In the event of his return to power, Prasad who is being projected as the chief ministerial candidate, said he would like to see that those involved in "loot of public funds" are behind bars.
Prasad claimed that the people knew that he was the only force that could oust Kumar. "People, especially the poor, the core of the RJD, realise the true design of the Nitish government. They want answers. I will probe these scams and tell them what has occurred. That way, being in the opposition has been good."

Turning to the 2005 elections, he said that the ambition of workers, anti-incumbency and NDA's 'misinformation campaign' had played a role in bringing down his regime. "But this has changed.

Our M-Y (Muslim-Yadav) vote equation is intact ... We are expecting to receive a major chunk of upper caste and mahadalit votes. We have promised to implement the Sachchar and Rangnath Mishra reports for the uplift of Muslims in Bihar," he said.
  He claimed that Kumar had failed to make headway in wooing minorities and though he had "snubbed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to appease Muslims", he was "ultimately exposed".

'After all, why didn't Kumar severe ties with the BJP when Godhra was burning and the Sabarmati Express was torched?" he asked.

The RJD chief claimed that NDA's contention that bringing back the RJD to power would pave the way for return of jungle raj had not not gone down well with the people.

"How long can they keep flogging a dead horse? Was everything wrong during my regime? The forces against me had ganged up and did not let me work and got me falsely implicated in the multi-crore rupees fodder scam.

"I have made the Railways achieve a turnaround and I want a fresh term in Bihar to change the face of the state and show what the fruits of development are which people have been deprived of."


Prasad refused to acknowledge that JD(U)'s wooing of EBCs, Mahadalits could damage prospects of RJD-LJP combine and said Nitish Kumar had played his cards well by creating Mahadalits

'But it has boomeranged. What good has been done for Mahadalits, except all promises? Do they need TVs before food? They have been denied BPL cards and benefits of social schemes like Iay units, MNREGA and SGSY," he alleged. PTI