The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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RS-stung Soren guns for Cong and Laloo

Ranchi, June 4: The UPA alliance in the state appeared to be in tatters today with a “wounded” Shibu Soren lashing out at both the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

Accusing the two parties of betraying Jharkhand, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief wondered why they refused to support a “son of the soil” in the Rajya Sabha election on Friday.

“Had the RJD put up a local candidate, say Saba Ahmed,” Soren said, “we would have considered withdrawal from the fray.”

But with RJD putting up a man from Bihar, Muktinath Upadhyay, and the NDA too fielding ‘a Bihari’, there was no question of withdrawing his son, Durga Soren, from the contest.

For the record, the NDA nominee Digvijay Singh won the election comfortably with 43 MLAs voting for him.

Soren, still smarting at the humiliation, declared that he would put up candidates against the Rashtriya Janata Dal in the forthcoming election for the Bihar Assembly.

Indeed, he would not mind discussing an alliance with Ram Vilas Paswan, said a peeved Soren, and field more than 30 candidates in constituencies adjoining Jharkhand and with significant concentration of tribals.

Soren also directed his ire at Stephen Marandi, an erstwhile colleague, blaming him for the misunderstandings and differences between the allies.

Marandi, the state UPA convener, accused Soren of committing a political blunder by fielding his son for the Rajya Sabha.

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