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Clamour in Congress to go it alone in Bihar

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Clamour in Congress to go it alone in Bihar
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Patna: After the Rashtriya Janata Dal's (RJD) no-show in Bihar in the Lok Sabha elections, the clamour is growing in the Congress to drop out of its Grand Alliance with the RJD and other parties and go it alone in the Assembly elections next year.

Congress candidate Mohammed Javed won the Kishanganj seat in Bihar, saving the Grand Alliance from drawing a blank.

Party leaders feel that in the Grand Alliance, the Congress is painted with the same brush as the RJD, whose President Lalu Prasad is serving a jail term at a Ranchi hospital in the fodder scam cases.

Supporting the demand, veteran party leader Nikhil Kumar said: "The Grand Alliance was lacking in its seat-sharing arrangement, ticket distribution and even campaigning."

Leaving the coalition would allow the voters in Bihar to think differently about the Congress, thus helping it gather new supporters ahead of the Assembly polls.

The former state Congress chief said: "I have been saying it since 1998, that in Bihar, the Congress is capable of performing well on its own."

Senior Congress leader in the Assembly Sadanand Singh said: "The party must get off the crutches it has used for the past three decades. It must work to strengthen it own cadre and support base."

Yet another Congress leader was of the opinion that the Grand Alliance members had nothing in common. "Congress suffered in the elections for aligning with the RJD, which is against reservation for economically weak upper castes.

However, political analysts feel the decision to leave the RJD might not be easy for the party. "It won't be easy for the Congress to regain its traditional voter and strengthen its organisation at the grassroots after having depended on the RJD for so long," said veteran journalist Manoj Chaurasia.

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