M A I N   N E W S

Laloo meets Arjun, war of nerves on
Satish Misra
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav today climbed down from his threatening stand over the Congress-JMM “unilateral” seat-sharing agreement for Jharkhand Assembly polls and declared, after his meeting with senior Congress leader Arjun Singh, that talks on seat sharing for Bihar would continue till a settlement was reached.

Emerging from the two-hour meeting with Mr Singh, also attended by Left leaders A B Bardhan (CPI) and Basudeb Acharya (CPM), Mr Yadav told newspersons that talk among the allies would continue till a settlement was arrived at.

The talks today focused on clearing the doubts and pave the way for talks on seat sharing in Bihar.

Mr Yadav, who had yesterday said that the Congress was free to chart its own course in Bihar which goes to Assembly polls along with Jharkhand and Haryana next month, today said he was a “trusted ally” of the Congress and “it is our duty to take along alliance partners in the Assembly polls.”

“There is no question of complaints. We will contest jointly by sorting out our differences,” he said, adding talks would continue till a positive outcome was reached to defeat “communal” forces.

Asked to comment on his outburst yesterday, the RJD chief with Mr Arjun Singh beside him, shot back “Can’t you see we are standing together? Arjun Singh is a respected senior leader and our guardian.”

Earlier, Mr Arjun Singh was despatched by Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to mollify Laloo after her party and JMM reached seat-sharing agreement for Jharkhand on Friday.

Mr Singh, who was instrumental in the Congress’ clinching the deal with the JMM, said, “Today’s talks are successful.”

Asked about the next round of talks among the alliance partners to sort out differences on the seat-sharing arrangement, Mr Yadav said while his party colleagues Rashuvansh Prasad Singh and Prem Gupta would continue to interact with Congress leaders, “I would be back from Patna day after tomorrow to finalise the deal. Arjun Singhji would also be in Bangalore tomorrow.”

“We discussed all aspects of the seat-sharing arrangement in Jharkhand in the light of an agreement announced by the Congress and the JMM and to a pledge to defeat the BJP and its allies in the coming Assembly elections in three states,” Mr Bardhan said refusing to divulge details.

Earlier, Mr Acharya, who attended the meeting and left for Kolkata to attend the CPM Central Committee meeting, had asked the Congress, the RJD and other alliance partners to sort out our differences.

Sources said talks between Mr Yadav and the Congress leaders were going to be tough, as the RJD would not like to give the Congress more than three dozen seats.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |