New Delhi: Lalu Prasad may have been one of the prominent invitees at the UPA anniversary dinner yesterday, but the Congress appears to be non-committal on aligning with the RJD in the next Lok Sabha elections.
A senior Congress leader, who declined to be identified, said, "In match making, one sees many eligible boys or girls as prospective brides or grooms. Nothing is finalised till marriage is decided. Ditto is the case of alliances." He was apparently suggesting that elections are still far away.
Despite not being part of the UPA-II, Prasad as also LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan were on the dais when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh presented the Report to the People on the fourth anniversary of the government. Prasad and Paswan, whose parties were part of the UPA-I, have been for long seeking an alliance with Congress. Their parties are supporting the UPA-II from outside.
In recent months, there has been intense speculation about Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U leader Nitish Kumar quitting NDA to join hands with Congress, which had fought the last Lok Sabha election on its own breaking off ties with RJD.
Only recently, in a move to position itself neutrally in Bihar ahead of next Lok Sabha elections, Congress had spoken of its 'Ekla Chalo' (go alone) stand claiming "equidistance" from both JD-U and Prasad's RJD. Party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed had maintained that Congress is still in "no mood" to ally with any party for the next elections there.
"We are fully engaged in expanding our base in Bihar against Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad. We have an equal distance from both the parties. We are trying to find our own path. We are not aligning with any party," he had said.
Prasad, when asked last night whether Congress would include his party in UPA, had remarked "whether it happens or not, we are going to support them". The RJD chief is wary of the growing warmth in ties between Congress and Kumar, who is against projection of Narendra Modi as NDA's Prime Ministerial candidate.