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Sunday, February 06, 2000

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Cong(I), RJD hoodwinking people, says JD(U)

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, FEB. 5. The Janata Dal (United) today accused the Congress (I) of being the `B' team of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar and said that this was evident from the absence of any attack on the RJD by the party president, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, in her election campaign in the State on Friday.

Addressing a news conference here the JD(U) general secretary, Mr. M. Raghupathy, said that though the campaign theme of Mrs. Gandhi was disappointing, it was not surprising. ``It is very sad that she has not said a word on the jungle raj, corruption and non-governance in the State''.

Mr. Raghupathy claimed that the Congress(I) and the RJD were hoodwinking the people by fielding candidates against each other while in reality they were fighting the Assembly elections as allies.

He said that by renominating nine Ministers against whom charge- sheets had been filed, the RJD had proved that it wanted to carry forward the same legacy.

The JD (U) also released a list of 55 candidates. The party is fighting as an electoral ally of the National Democratic Alliance and has appealed to the NDA partners to abide by the agreement. Mr. Raghupathy urged the rebels to retire from the fray and ensure two-thirds majority to the NDA.

As per the agreement, the BJP is contesting 150 seats, the Samata Party, 90, JD (U) 55 and the Bihar People's Party, 20 seats. Failure of the NDA to arrive at an agreement on identifying seats had led to a situation where the partners ended up fielding candidates against each other in the first two phases.

On the burning of three students in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Raghupathy said that it was a feudal and barbaric act and appealed to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, to order an enquiry into the incident.

Without naming anyone, Mr. Raghupathy said that the party responsible for the incident should apologise not only to the people of Tamil Nadu but the whole country. He wondered why the Tamil Maanila Congress had not deemed it necessary to comment on the incident.

Besides Bihar, the JD (U) is contesting seven seats in Haryana, 14 in Manipur and nine in Orissa. But it will be pitted against the NDA partners in States other than Bihar.

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