The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BJP smells 'unholy' plot
- Opp. fears Cong move to instal RJD government

Patna, March 23: The people of Bihar are pleased with President's rule but the Opposition sniffs a conspiracy, post-Holi.

BJP national vice-president Sushil Kumar Modi today led the charge against the central rule in the state. 'The Centre is delaying the appointment of advisers to the governor not because of any rift between Laloo Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan but only to ensure its proxy rule,' he said.

'The indications are that the Congress has planned to make a bold move after Holi to constitute an RJD-led coalition government in Bihar. Shivraj Patil's statement that a minority government can be put into effect hints at this,' Modi argued.

He continued: 'The RJD continues to attack the Congress in Parliament on the question of President's rule, which is quite unprecedented. Laloo Prasad will blackmail the Centre to make the governor invite him to form the government after Holi.'

The BJP leader then diverted his attention to the Lok Janshakti Party and its president, Ram Vilas Paswan.

'The mandate is clearly against the RJD, whose vote share has come down to a mere 25 per cent and seats reduced from 115 to 75. The LJP, on the other hand, won 24 of its 29 seats by defeating the RJD,' he said.

Modi alleged that Paswan was under 'great pressure' to support the RJD and form a government and accused Laloo Prasad's party of plotting to 'break other parties' to come to power once again.

'If the RJD tries to form a minority government by breaking other parties, the people of Bihar will erupt in an agitation similar to the JP movement,' he warned.

Modi had a veiled suggestion for the LJP chief as well. 'If Paswan still wavers, let his MLAs take the lead. There is no other way,' he said.

Janata Dal (United) leader Upendra Kushwaha alleged that the RJD still held sway over the state's affairs. 'Things are as bad as before. The RJD is still having a major say in the state's affairs, although indirectly. A non-RJD government is the need of the hour,' he said.

On the other hand, the RJD said President's rule has not improved matters in the state as was made out to be. 'All those who equate President's rule with 'Ram rajya' are mistaken. There has been no let-up in crimes after central rule was imposed,' state party chief Abdul Bari Siddiqui said.

'Slums are being razed to the ground and the poor chased and thrown out of their homes in the name of an anti-encroachment drive,' he added, exhorting the media to 'do 'justice' to the present regime like you did to us'.

In Bhubaneswar, senior CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said at a news conference that his party would prefer fresh elections in Bihar if Laloo Prasad and Paswan failed to resolve their personal differences to form a secular government within six months, reports our correspondent.

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