New Delhi: Despite their decision to field candidates against the Congress party in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and other states, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partners Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) on Friday claimed they were still a part of the UPA and would come together to form a government under the leadership of Manmohan Singh after the Lok Sabha election.
“We are with Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. There are certain managers in the Congress who tried to create a rift between us during the seat-sharing discussion. However, we still say that Manmohan singh will be our PM candidate. UPA will come back and fight communal forces. Our aim is to form the government,” RJD chief Lalu Prasad told a rally in Lucknow along with SP leader Mulayam Singh and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan.
Joint forces: (L-R) LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD chief Lalu Prasad with SP national general secretary Sanjay Dutt at the SP office in Lucknow on Friday. Ajay Kumar Singh / AP
Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar, chief of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which has announced a seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa, also reaffirmed his commitment to the UPA while releasing his party manifesto in Mumbai.
Pawar, who was expected to attend a joint Third Front rally in Bhubaneswar, was conspicuous by his absence, which the party claimed was because of a technical snag in his aircraft, fuelling speculation over his future plans. “There is no front. I am not part of the Third Front in Orissa. I have an alliance with Naveen Patnaik’s party, the BJD (Orissa’s ruling Biju Janata Dal),” he said.
Third Front leaders, however, appeared optimistic. Stating that nobody had claimed that Pawar was in the Third Front, Communist Party of India general secretary A.B. Bardhan said: “But fact remains that he is distancing himself from the Congress-led UPA.”