No Fourth Front, We Are with UPA: Lalu

Ruling out the formation of a Fourth Front, Tashtroya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad on Friday said that the RJD, Samajwadi Party and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) were still a part of the United Progressive Alliance led by the Congress.

Saying that his new alliance with Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan was within the UPA framework Prasad asserted that the troika had come together to stop communal forces from seizing power.

“We are still part of the UPA and the partners are the same,” said Prasad in a joint press conference with Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan.

The leaders who were in a huddle in Lucknow on the day have been pushed together by dwindling electoral fortunes and Congress’ refusal to contest the general elections a part of a nationwide alliance.

Criticising the Congress for its refusal to relent with a pre-poll alliance with UPA partners, Prasad said Manmohan Singh was their prime ministerial candidate too.

“There are second-grade leaders in the Congress and no regional party can leave its ground for other parties. However, we are still with UPA and Manmohan Singh is our prime ministerial candidate,” he said.

Supporting Prasad’s contentions, Paswan too said: “We are against communal forces, not against the Congress.”

“Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand collectively have 134 Lok Sabha seats and together we have the power to influence government formation in the centre,” said Paswan.

“All of us have also decided not to file candidates against one another in these states,” he added before percolating the rhetoric down to the main cause of concern.

“We have also come together to provide relief to the people of Uttar Pradesh and expose the wrong doings of chief minister Mayawati,” he said.

Commenting on the main Opposition NDA’s chances of returning to power, Prasad said: “The National Democratic Alliance stands nowhere close to coming to power.”

Indulging in some serious gallery play the partners attempted to allay speculations of them losing their traditional minority vote banks to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said: “Not only Varun, but the BJP, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the BSP have similar opinions against the minority community. This (his arrest) has been done hand in glove with the state government. Varun could have easily been arrested as soon as he entered Ghaziabad.”

“We have come together for the cause of the poor people, irrespective of their caste and creed, and we will bring a revolutionary change in the politics of India,” he claimed.

The coalition will also hold joint rallies in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra.

The leaders clarified that their association, which they say will bring a revolutionary change in the politics in the country, will continue uninterrupted after the Lok Sabha elections and even in the next Vidhan Sabha elections.

Bollywood icon Sanjay Dutt and SP general secretary Amar Singh were also present.

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