Stating the obvious – the Congress on Tuesday accepted that it was “hurt” by RJD chief Lalu Prasad who allocated the grand old party only three parliamentary seats in Bihar while adding that the party had expected to end up with twice the number in its kitty.
“…I do not find any explanation why Lalu Prasad could not accommodate six seats to Congress out of 40. Three we won and if we won three-four more…,” senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee told a TV news channel.
“I cannot use the word betrayed, but I will use the word hurt,” he said.
Mukherjee said the Congress did not expect this “particularly from Laluji who cooperated with the UPA from the beginning till the last and fortunately he is still, a part of the UPA”.
Clarifying the party stand on a failed pre-poll alliance prospects with the Samajwadi Part, Mukherjee said: “We have tried, eventually it did not click”.
Mukherjee’s expression of hurt is surprising especially as media reports have suggested that Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was in principled opposition of alliances and wanted to go-it-alone in states where it was hopeful of a better showing in the future, the reports were not refuted by the Congress.
The party has since decided to field candidates against both Lalu Prasad and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, despite the fact that the two continue to remain a part of the Congress-led alliance.
Though most believe the failure of seat sharing talks to have lead to the widening gap between the Congress and the RJD, political pundits say trouble first erupted when the Congress refused to Lalu’s growing worries in wake of the anti-Bhaiyya attacks in Maharashtra.