RJD seeks to placate LJP, says alliance on

The RJD Wednesday played down "rumours" of any rift between alliance partner LJP and also distanced itself from senior party leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh's indirect reference to the LJP not having many winnable candidates to field in the coming Lok Sabha elections. The LJP had contested 12 seats in the last election but could not win a single one. The RJD had won four of the 28 seats it contested.

RJD principal general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Ramkripal Yadav told The Indian Express: "We disown views of Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and any other party leader saying uncharitable thing about our alliance with the LJP. The party has authorised only Lalu Prasad to discuss seat arrangements or take any call on alliance matters. Lalu ji has said in clear terms that alliance is intact and misgivings are spread by some inimical forces."

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, the MP from Vaishali, had said two days ago that the LJP should first present winnable candidates before asking for any particular seat. The LJP was also peeved at reports of the RJD offering it lesser number of seats than the Congress.

Ramkripal Yadav said Ramvilas Paswan has been a trusted ally and will enjoy that position with the RJD. "We are far from discussing seat arrangements. Let us first give formal shape to alliance with the Congress, we can sit together to discuss number of seats RJD, LJP and Congress will contest from," said Yadav, a confidant of RJD chief Lalu Prasad. Though LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan could not be contacted, a senior LJP leader conceded that the party chief was surely upset at not getting "proper communication" from the RJD chief after his release from jail.

The JD(U), which has been also looking for new alliance partners after split with the BJP in June, is not averse to alliance with any party with "similar ideology and drive to fight communal forces". Top leaders of the JD(U) have already started working on alliance with the CPI and the CPM and may well be happy to "include LJP" provided Ramvilas Paswan "makes the first move". Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, however, said there was no discussion with the LJP.

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