NATIONAL

Differences within LJP, SP to the fore in Bihar

K. Balchand

PATNA: Differences within the Lok Jan Shakti Party and the Samajwadi Party have surfaced casting a shadow on the political course being charted by their leadership in the State.

The LJP leadership's effort to scotch rumours that legislators were divided regarding government formation boomeranged on it on Saturday. The Samajwadi Party also seems to have dissensions, much to the embarrassment of its leadership ahead of the sixth national conference scheduled here on April 21.

The LJP leadership on Saturday held a press conference to deny the claim of one of its MLAs, Ajay Kumar Bulganin, that at least four of them would exert pressure on the party chief, Ram Vilas Paswan, to join hands with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and form a government, but the exercise turned out to be self-defeating.

Poonam Yadav, a legislator, advocated the need to form a government on the pattern of the United Progressive Alliance at the Centre. She held forth much to the surprise of party leaders, including the general secretary, Suraj Bhan Singh, MP, who, out of sheer embarrassment, made his exit stressing that notwithstanding the differences, the party would stand by Mr. Paswan's decision on the issue.

Mrs. Yadav criticised the President's Rule in the State charging that it was the rule of the ``sipahi''(police) and not legislators. She lashed out against the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, for not forcing Mr. Paswan and the RJD chief, Lalu Prasad, to sit together and sort problems out.

She, however, denied any rebellion and underlined her allegiance to Mr. Paswan. She admitted that some legislators had discussed the issue of conveying their stand to the party leadership.

She said she did not favour either Rabri Devi or Lalu Prasad as Chief Minister. At least four legislators named by Mr. Bulganin were conspicuous by their absence.

Five other legislators, whose affinity had become a matter of question, clarified their stand, denying the reports and asserting their loyalty to Mr. Paswan and justifying his line of action of keeping equidistance from both the RJD and the BJP.

They included Achutanand Prasad Singh, Dular Chand Yadav and Anil.

In the Samajwadi Party, the battle lines are drawn between the State unit chief, Daddan Yadav, and his predecessor, Shankar Prasad Tekriwal, who in a letter to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and party chief, Mulayam Singh Yadav, has demanded that the former be removed from his post.

The worse part is that Mr. Tekriwal claimed to have formed a parallel committee of four legislators to supervise the three-day national conference of the party commencing here on April 21.

Mr. Yadav claimed that all the four legislators were with him and that there was no difference of opinion among them.

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