LJP-RJD pitch for secularism in Bihar, Congress angry

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New Delhi, Mar 17 (ANI): Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, on Tuesday strongly pitched for a secular form of government in Bihar while announcing the seat sharing arrangement between the two parties in the state.

Out of the 40 seats, the RJD will contest 25 seats and the LJP will contest 12 seats. The remaining three seats have been left for the Congress.

Talking to reporters here, Lalu said: "We're fighting to form a secular government... We're with the UPA and will remain with the UPA."

Paswan too said their aim was to defeat communal forces.

"LJP and RJD, we will together fight this battle and we will win. There is no doubt about this," said Lalu.

Expressing confidence about winning the general elections, Paswan said, "UPA will get more seats this year in Bihar as compared to previous year. The United Progressive Alliance will definitely form a government in the country."

In a view of strengthening ties between the two UPA allies, Lalu Prasad said the RJD AND LJP would fight together in Jharkhand too. He further clarified that he was not concerned with the recently launched Third Front.

Meanwhile, the Congress has termed the Lalu-Paswan deal unacceptable.

"They have left just three seats. Our workers are in so much anger. We were ready with a list of eleven candidates, " AICC secretary Iqbal Singh, in-charge of Bihar told reporters here.

In the previous general election, the UPA had bagged 29 seats in the state, while the JD (U)-BJP combine had 11. The RJD's tally was 22, while the LJP could only win four.

The 2009 general elections in Bihar would happen in four phases. The first phase is scheduled on April 16, second on April 22 and 23, third on April 30 and fourth on May 7. (ANI)

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