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Bihar People's Party merges with Congress

By Our Special Correspondent

PATNA, FEB. 28. The process of political realignment in Bihar is still continuing, with the Bihar

People's Party chief and former MP, Anand Mohan, deciding to merge his party with the Congress.

He announced that he wanted to contest from the Sheohar parliamentary constituency, which he lost in 1999 to Anwarul Haq, who quit the Rashtriya Janata Dal and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Mr. Mohan had won the seat in 1996 and 1998.

But, the Congress is said to be in favour of fielding him from Maharajganj parliamentary constituency to take on the Janata Dal (United) member in the dissolved Lok Sabha, Prabhunath Singh, who has been a critic of Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, in the Lok Sabha.

Defending Ms. Gandhi, Mr. Mohan charged the BJP with having "little decorum" in carrying on an "obnoxious campaign against a widow."

He justified the merger decision saying it was the era of coalitions.

He has sought, for his nominees, the Saharsa Lok Sabha seat in Bihar and the Chatra seat in Jharkhand, and may field his wife, Lovely Anand, a former MP, from Saharsa.

The Congress may have to bargain hard with the RJD to concede the Sheohar and Sahara seats as it had won them earlier and had also contested from there in 1999.

On the other hand, the RJD had given the Maharajganj seat to the Congress in 1999 and the party is thinking of changing its candidate this time.

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