Congress will Not Play Bridesmaid to RJD in Bihar; Says Senior Congress Leader

Congress leaders holding a press conference in Patna on Sunday.

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Patna: Senior Congress leader and former Central Minister Akhilesh Singh, apparently seeing the writing on the wall about the dwindling fortune of Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family amid a host of corruption charges against them, at a press conference in Patna on Sunday ruled out playing second fiddle to the RJD anymore saying Congress was the 'number one' party in the nation will remain so in future.

Patna: Senior Congress leader and former Central Minister Akhilesh Singh, apparently seeing the writing on the wall about the dwindling fortune of Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family amid a host of corruption charges against them, at a press conference in Patna on Sunday ruled out playing second fiddle to the RJD anymore saying Congress was the 'number one' party in the nation will remain so in future.

"Congress is a national party and remains a force to reckon with in the Indian politics. We have no desire to be the B-team of the RJD chief. Though the final decision whether to stay in alliance with Lalu Prasad Yadav in Bihar remains in the hands of the party high command, it is safe to say we won't be kowtowing to the RJD anymore," Singh said.

Downplaying Congress' history of riding on the coattails of Lalu Prasad Yadav to share power in Bihar in the past several years, Singh said that the Congress had officially dumped RJD in 2010 and its future with Yadav could best be defined as uncertain.

Party state acting President Kaukab Qadri, meanwhile, denied any dissent within the party saying all was well within Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) and there was no need for anyone to be alarmed.

Dismissing intra-party turmoil in the aftermath of the collapse of the 'Mahagathbandhan', Qadri said that former BPCC President and Education Minister Ashok Kumar Chowdhary made a few statements against the party because he was under tremendous amount of pressure following Nitish Kumar's decision to walk out of the Grand Alliance last July.

"I will not tolerate any indiscipline by any party member regardless of his or her position in the party. Chowdhary said a few things against the party but I am sure he feels sorry now and will attend tomorrow's meeting of the office holders to put everything in place," Qadri said.

Chowdhary is on record disparaging his party after he was unceremoniously removed from his post and replaced by Qadri. He said he felt insulted the way Congress top leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, treated, or rather, mistreated him.

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