Twice bitten, Lalu looks to offer Congress more seats than LJP

Lalu prasadRJD chief Lalu Prasad to consider scaling down his reliance on ally Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. (PTI)

Sucessive defeats in the 2009 Lok Sabha and 2010 assembly elections in Bihar are learnt to have got RJD chief Lalu Prasad to consider scaling down his reliance on ally Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

As part of its re-calibration of the alliance for the next elections, the RJD is considering to squeeze the LJP's share of seats to woo the Congress with a bigger seat share offer in Bihar, party sources on Friday.

This is in contrast to the 2009 Lok Sabha elections when Lalu squeezed the Congress out of the alliance by allotting 12 of the 40 seats in the state to Paswan's LJP. The Congress was offered only three seats.

"That time Lalu Prasad had leaned heavily towards Paswan at the expense of Congress. This time, he appears to be more favourable towards Congress than Paswan's LJP. He is keen to offer more seats to Congress than LJP if that seals an alliance in Bihar," said a senior party leader.

In 2009, the Congress had walked out of the alliance with the RJD and the LJP after it was offered only three seats. Lalu, consequently, grabbed these three seats and the RJD contested from 28 seats while LJP contested from 12. Contesting alone, the Congress won two seats while the LJP failed to win even one. The RJD won four seats. In fact, Paswan lost his own seat while Lalu lost one of the two seats from where he contested.

Lalu's faith in the LJP, however, continued and in the assembly elections in 2010, he offered 75 seats to LJP out of the total 243. He also declared Paswan's brother Pashupati Paras as the candidate for deputy chief minister's post. Both parties fared miserably.

Party leaders admitted that Lalu has grown wiser after these two poll debacles. "He is going to be more generous to the Congress than the LJP this time," said a party source in response to inquiries regarding the tentative seats that Lalu was considering to offer the Congress.

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