Yadav stalled rapproachement, says Paswan

NEW DELHI, NOV. 27. The Communications Minister, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, who said today that he was all set to launch `Janashakti' tomorrow, charged the JD(U) president, Mr. Sharad Yadav, with stalling every effort by senior leaders of the party for a rapproachment.

Listing out his grievances with the party chief at a press conference here, Mr. Paswan alleged that Mr. Yadav was clinging to the president's post and reducing the party's hold on national politics. The `Janashakti' would emerge as a national party and it would field candidates in the Assembly elections due next year, including in Uttar Pradesh.

``The Uttar Pradesh elections will be a challenge for the `Janashakti' and after tomorrow there will be only two political forces in Bihar - one led by Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav and another by the new party.

Mr. Paswan said had he formed his party a decade ago, parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party would have been marginalised by now. the `Janashakti' would support issues of national interest and stand for secularism, social justice, compulsory education, equal opportunities for all, removing gender discrimination and rural development.

Reacting to the JD(U) challenge that he should resign from the Lok Sabha and contest again to prove his popularity, he said he was willing to do so provided Mr Yadav also obliged.

The `Janashakti' will have four MPs in the Lok Sabha with Mr. Paswan, his brother, Mr. Ramachandra Paswan, the former Union Minister, Capt. Jai Narain Prasad `Nishad`` and the former Karnataka Minister, Mr. Ramesh Jigajinagi, whose crossing over ensured that the new outfit does not attract penal clause under the Anti-Defection Law. All the MPs were present at the press conference.

At a separate press conference, the JD(U) spokesman charged Mr. Paswan with snapping ties due to ``personal ambitions'' and that there was no ideological issue involved which required such a step.

``Ever since Mr. Paswan announced he would float a new party, the JD(U) workers had distanced themselves'', the spokesman, Mr. Mohan Prakash said. He discounted reports of a 'split' on the grounds that only four MPs had gone away while rest of the party was ``united and stood with Mr. Yadav. Mr. Prakash said tomorrow's rally was a ``display of wealth'' by Mr. Paswan.

* * *

Paswan's request being considered

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, NOV. 27. The process of considering the formal request by the Communications Minister, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, for separate seat allotment to his new party, `Janashakti' in the Lok Sabha has begun.

The Speaker, Mr. G.M.C. Balayogi is understood to be sending a communication to the Janata Dal(United) President, Mr. Sharad Yadav seeking his views. The Government does not anticipate problems to the request of Mr. Paswan, who met the Speaker here last night alongwith three MPs who have agreed to go with him to recognise a split in the JD(U), sources said.