Cong-RJD alliance talks break down

A day after Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ram Vilas Paswan deserted the UPA and joined hands with the BJP, talks of an alliance between the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) too reached a breakdown stage.

This was confirmed when Lalu returned to the State Capital from New Delhi on Friday night and said, “Gatbandhan ka time khatam (Time for an alliance is over). I was trying to unite all the secular forces. But it appears everyone, including the Congress, wants to contest all the seats in Bihar. Hum ab kya karein (What can we do now)? So I returned to Patna as even my party's men have started accusing me of licking the Congress' feet for too long,” said a visibly angry Lalu here.

Congress sources in New Delhi told Deccan Herald that talks with Lalu had reached a dead-end. “Officially, talks with the RJD reached a breakdown stage following deadlock over two Lok Sabha seats, Madhubani and Bhagalpur, where the Congress wanted to field its national spokesperson Shakeel Ahmad and CLP leader in the Assembly Sadanand Singh.

But Lalu wanted both the seats for the RJD,” said the AICC leader on the condition of that he not be identified. He did confirm that the actual reason behind the Congress developing cold feet towards Lalu was Paswan's departure from the original plan of a Congress-RJD-LJP tie-up. He neither confirmed nor denied that the Congress had opened back-room channels with Nitish.

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