The Telegraph
Sunday , June 23 , 2013
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RJD or Dal? Cong mum on alliance

Patna, June 22: Amid growing bonhomie between the Congress and the JD(U), the former has kept its options open for stitching up an alliance with either the Dal or the RJD for next year’s general elections.

AICC general secretary Shakeel Ahmad, who seemed reluctant to name which party, JD(U) or RJD, the Congress would align with, said it was for a committee led by A.K. Antony to decide that.

“A decision on alliance will be taken at an appropriate time by the AK Antony Committee in consultation with the Bihar affairs in-charge and the state leadership. I will also give my opinion to the high command at an appropriate time,” Ahmad said.

Ahmad was in his home state after being appointed general secretary last week.

Ahmad was accompanied by Bihar Congress chief Ashok Choudhary, senior state leaders Ashok Ram, Madan Mohan Jha, legislator Dr Javed, party spokesman Vinod Sharma and other leaders. Sources said the Congress must be weighing its pros and cons vis-à-vis forging an alliance in the state, adding that the party is keeping its cards close to its chest as Lalu Prasad’s conviction in the fodder scam case, which has been posted for pronouncement on July 15, might change the political course of action.

On Congress extending support to Nitish during the trust motion on June 19 with its crucial four MLAs, Ahmad said: “We have a responsibility too and that’s why we took a decision to support Nitish, simply on the question of secularism. We supported him with the aim of weakening communal forces and strengthening secular forces in the state.”