Lalu trying to build bridges with congress


Staff member
New Delhi July 10:

Days after RJD supremo Lalu Prasad met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi triggering speculation of the latter trying to build bridges, a senior RJD leader on Sunday said "secular parties" should join hands to take on the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar.

Congress and RJD had parted ways just before the 2009 Lok Sabha elections after they failed to reach seat-sharing arrangement. Lately, Prasad is believed to have been making attempts to again reach out to Congress. Asked about possibility of the two parties again working together in Bihar, RJD leader Raghubansh Prasad Singh made an indirect inference, saying that secular parties should come together to fight the JD(U)-BJP rule in Bihar.

"NDA with 39 percent of vote is ruling Bihar today while 61 percent of anti-NDA votes is divided and just watching at them," the former Union minister told a news agency. Congress and RJD had fought last year's Assembly polls in Bihar separately and faced severe drubbing at the hands of JD(U)-BJP combine. RJD was the second largest constituent in UPA-I, but is now an outside supporter in UPA-II.

During his meeting with Gandhi on July 5, Prasad raised the issues related to Bihar and claimed that law and order situation was "deteriorating" there. Before meeting Gandhi, the former Railway minister had sought to strike a chord with Congress by speaking in favour of the government.

This was visible when he attacked Ramdev, even though the yoga guru belongs to the same caste as Prasad's. RJD also supported Congress candidate in July 1 Lok Sabha by-poll in Jamshedpur. The Congress nominee, however, lost in the election. Prasad was also among the first to reach Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence on May 22 to participate in the celebrations of UPA-II's two years in power.