Bihar assembly polls: Congress to wait and watch on Janata Parivar merger issue

Patna, Jan 30: Congress today said it will adopt a wait and watch approach on the Janata Parivar merger issue and will take a decision in May on a tie up in the Bihar Assembly elections.

"We are keeping a close watch over the events in Bihar and will take a decision in May whether to go for a tie up or fight the state elections later this year alone," Congress General Secretary C P Joshi told reporters.

Bihar assembly polls: Congress to wait and watch on Janata Parivar merger issue.
RJD President Lalu Prasad and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar were "big leaders" of Bihar, Joshi said pointing to the good results of the "secular alliance" in which Congress was a partner in the bypolls to ten Assembly seats, barely three months after a rout in last year's general elections.

Joshi, who is in-charge of the party's Bihar affairs, said in February, March and April, Congress would concentrate on programmes to strengthen its base in Bihar and stressed that secularism was the "non-negotiable" core ideology of Congress.

The Congress leader was speaking at the end of the four-day long "Chintan Shivir" of the party's state wing at its Sadaquat Ashram headquarter.

Flanked by PCC chief Ashok Choudhary and Congress Legislature party leader Sadanand Singh, Joshi said the Bihar polls would be crucial in the changing course of politics in the country.

"Bihar is a state where BJP leader L K Advani's rath was stopped and JD(U) took a vital decision to part with BJP last year over elevation of Narendra Modi," he said.

Asked about reasons for the Congress failing to make a mark in Bihar, Joshi disagreed and said the party was gaining strength gradually.

"In the 2010 Assembly elections we won four seats, but today our number in Assembly has gone up to five. How can you say we are not gaining strength?" the AICC General Secretary said.

In reply to a question on when committees at district and state levels would be reconstituted, he said it was part of the Congress strategy and would be done at a suitable time.

To a question on the two Congress MPs - Maulana Ashrarul Haque and Ranjeeta Ranjan giving a miss to the Shivir suggesting that all was not well in the party, Joshi played down the absence saying they were busy in social engagements and added more than 700 Congress workers and leaders from across the state participated in the Shivir, reflecting its success.


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