The party is fighting 36 of the State’s 40 Lok Sabha seats

Patna: Snubbed by its once trusted ally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who stitched an alliance with Union Minister Ramvilas Paswan’s LJP for the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress is now fighting a battle to reinvent and revive itself in Bihar.

In an apparent attempt to step out of RJD’s towering shadow, the Congress is contesting 36 of the State’s 40 Lok Sabha seats after snapping ties with Lalu, 11 years after it had forged an alliance with the “Mandal Mascot”.

Still room for negotiation

Inspite of the bitterness which followed the separation, the two parties have, however, kept the door ajar for a possible post-poll reconciliation with the Congress deciding not to field candidates in Saran and Pataliputra, seats from where Lalu is seeking election and also at Hajipur, which is considered Paswan’s pocketborough.

Mr. Lalu, on his part, stressed that he wanted the UPA to be voted back to power with Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister. Though it originally decided not to contest the three seats, the Congress subsequently decided to extend support to NCP’s Tariq Anwar at Katihar as well. The RJD is contesting all the three seats which the Congress won in 2004 including Madhubani and Sasaram from where Union Minister of State for Home Shakeel Ahmed and Union minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Meira Kumar are trying their luck. --PTI