Lalu Prasad meets Sonia amid alliance talk

New Delhi, Dec 31: RJD chief Lalu Prasad, out on bail in a corruption case, Tuesday met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi amid speculation over an alliance between the two parties ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

“She will meet me again soon to discuss alliance,” Lalu Prasad told reporters after meeting Gandhi here.

Lalu Prasad, who broke his alliance with the Congress in 2009 by offering just three Lok Sabha seats to it, said he would not repeat the mistake this time.

He expressed hope that a Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal-Lok Janashakti Party alliance would be worked out soon “to block the communal forces”.

Together, they won 29 seats in the 2004 general polls. But separately, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) got only four, the Congress two and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) none in 2009.

Earlier, Lalu Prasad claimed Gandhi had called him up Dec 16 when he was released from a Ranchi jail on a bail in a fodder scam case.

The call from the Congress chief gave rise to speculation that an alliance could be worked out between the two parties for the next general elections.

The RJD supports the Congress-led UPA II at the centre from outside.

During UPA I, Lalu Prasad was the railway minister.

Though a final call is yet to be taken, Congress sources said an alliance with the RJD in Bihar was on the table.

Lalu Prasad praised Rahul Gandhi, saying his style of leadership was better than that of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The Janata Dal-United under Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar broke its 17-year-old alliance with the BJP in June after Modi was named the party’s 2014 poll campaign chief.

IANS