In a bid to forge a “secular pre-poll alliance” in Bihar, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh today met Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan.
The meeting assumes significance as Paswan, who was perceived to be inching closure towards JD(U), has consistently maintained that his party’s alliance with Congress is certain but whether to include Lalu Prasad’s RJD or JD(U) is a decision which the Congress has to take.
Congress, LJP and RJD had fought the 2004 Lok Sabha polls together, winning 29 out 40 parliamentary seats in Bihar.
However the alliance broke apart in 2009 Lok Sabha polls when RJD decided to offer only three seats to Congress, a decision which Prasad has been regretting ever since.
As result of the falling apart of this alliance, and BJP and JD(U) contesting the last Lok Sabha polls together in Bihar, all the three parties — Congress, LJP and RJD suffered losses.
While LJP could not open its account and even party chief Paswan lost from home turf Hajipur, RJD won only four seats and Congress two.
A dominant section in Congress believes that an alliance of the three parties will put them in a strong position to take on Narendra Modi led BJP in the general elections scheduled in April-May.
A few days back, Prasad had sought to woo both the parties flagging threat from “communal forces”.
He had also praised Congress as an “umbrella” organisation of secular forces, which the country needs. He had said that Paswan is a “gentleman” but some people around him are not allowing him to take the right decision.
Birla said her campaign this time is “very similar” to the last time.