Bihar Assembly polls 2010: Parties getting into the act

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 5:42
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Patna: Political parties have started preparing for the Assembly elections in Bihar to be held later in 2010. All major parties intending to be in the fray are getting ready to exhibit their strength and public support.

The so-called ‘Bihar bandh’ that the Rashtriya Janata Dal organised a few days ago, in association with the Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP), is seen by political observers as the RJD’s attempt to show off its strength,

Meanwhile, the ruling Janata Dal (United) is getting ready to conduct a ‘Mahadalit rally’ in Patna on February 21, 2010. Though the Janata Dal (U) is not directly involved in the planned rally, most of the organisers of the rally are leaders of the ruling party, including Uday Narayan Choudhary, Speaker of the Bihar Legislative Assembly.

Ram Vilas Paswan, president of the LJP, is organising a rally in Patna on March 18, 2010.

Rahul Gandhi, Congress general secretary and Member of Parliament, is conducting a two-day tour of Bihar on February 1-2, 2010, which is widely believed, by the Congress as well as other parties, to be aimed at generating a wave in favour of the Congress in the state.

The ‘Bihar bandh’ was conducted by the RJD with the support of the CPI, besides that of the LJP. Though the bandh was declared to be in protest against the rising prices of essential commodities, the way it was enforced amply demonstrated that it was meant more to be a political show of strength. The bandh was targeted against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre, led by the Congress, and also against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in Bihar, led by the Janata Dal (United).

Both the LJP and the CPI are likely to contest in the Assembly elections in alliance with the RJD, led by Lalu Parsad Yadav.

Addressing the students of the Lalit Narayan Mitihila University at Darbhanga, Rahul Gandhi said Bihar could be properly developed only if the youth joined politics.

In all his meetings during the tour of Bihar, Rahul Gandhi tried to attract the young people, obviously aimed at bolstering the Congress party’s declining political clout in the state.

At a meeting at Champaran, which was out of bounds for the media, Rahul Gandhi was quoted by the Congress sources as commenting that the Congress failed in the elections in Bihar earlier since the party it “did not go to the people and win their trust.” Many Congress workers, the sources added, told Rahul Gandhi that the party’s poor performance in Bihar was mainly because of its past alliance with the RJD.

Meanwhile, A B Bardhan, general secretary of the CPI, has indicated the possibility of a ‘third front’ for Bihar Assembly elections.

The Trinamool Congress has said it will contest in the Assembly elections in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

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