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Vajpayee to remain NDA chairperson
Published on 9 Jan. 2010 11:25 PM IST
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Allying with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of Lalu Prasad was a big mistake, Congress leader Jagdish Tytler has said, as his party prepares for the Bihar assembly elections by highlighting central welfare schemes and targeting youth through Rahul Gandhi. “The alliance with the RJD was the biggest mistake,” Tytler, a former union minister who became the Congress in-charge of Bihar five months ago, told IANS. He said the Congress lost its support base while sharing power with the RJD and the opposition space was filled by caste-based parties. The Congress won nine seats in the 243-member Bihar assembly in October 2005. The party contested the last two assembly polls in alliance with the RJD. It broke off its alliance during the 2009 Lok Sabha battle. Tytler said the party had decided to fight the coming assembly polls - due in November - on its own. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi is slated to tour Bihar later this month to give a boost to the Youth Congress membership drive being launched Jan 12. The party has also drawn up plans to reap the goodwill of central welfare schemes being implemented in the state. “There are 19 central schemes being implemented in the state and the Nitish Kumar government is surviving because of them,” Tytler said. He said central ministers responsible for the implementation of central schemes would start visiting the state in the next few months to seek the support of the people. Asked about his party’s preparations in case the Janata Dal-United-Bharatiya Janata Party government in Bihar advances the elections, Tytler said the Congress was well prepared. “We will contest to form our own government,” he said. Tytler said the Congress had sought to widen its support in Bihar by “giving suitable representation to all communities in the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) and in the districts”. He ruled out changing Bihar PCC chief Anil Sharma despite demands from a section in the party.

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