Patna: The ruling JD-U in Bihar is now hoping to get support from the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of Lalu Prasad to get its two candidates elected in the Rajya Sabha by-election.
"We expect RJD support for Rajya Sabha by-election. The RJD should support us to defeat the game plan of anti-secular forces," the state Janata Dal-United president Vashsisht Narain Singh said Thursday.
"The RJD has been constantly fighting against communal forces and trying to stop the BJP. If it supports JD-U candidates in by-election for the Rajya Sabha, we will welcome it," he said.
Janata Dal-United leaders said the party has decided to seek the RJD's support in a bid to frustrate the BJP's game plan.
"The BJP is playing its game through some rebel party legislators who had announced to support two Independent candidates instead of the party's official candidates. They have full backing of the BJP," said a JD-U leader considered close to former chief minister Nitish Kumar.
Senior RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddqui reiterated that Lalu Prasad will take a final decision June 19.
"The RJD will take an appropriate decision at right time," Siddqui said, though not rejecting the possibility of bailing out the JD-U, which is facing a challenge to ensure the win of its two candidates - Pavan Verma and Ghulam Rasool Balyavi.
Siddiqui said the RJD had last month extended its support to Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's government after Nitish Kumar quit as chief minister following the JD-U's rout in the Lok Sabha polls.
There is some positive development for the JD-U as rebel party legislator Daud Ali, who had proposed the candidature of an independent candidate, Thursday announced his support to the party's official candidates.
The Congress has also announced its support to JD-U candidates for the by-election. "Party's four legislators will support JD-U candidates," Congress legislator Sadanand Singh said.
A group of rebel JD-U legislators, who claimed to have the support of over two dozen party legislators, are insisting they would support two Independent candidates - Sabir Ali and Anil Sharma.
They also said that some JD-U leaders, including two ministers, were threatening and luring the rebel legislators.
"There is no chance of any change or compromise in our stand on the issue of supporting Independent candidates," Gayanu Singh, one of the vocal rebel JD-U legislators, said.
He said party national president Sharad Yadav will be declared elected Thursday evening after the end of deadline for withdrawal of names of candidates.
"There is no candidate against Sharad Yadav and we made it clear that we are with him," he said.
Sharad Yadav lost the Lok Sabha election from Madhepura constituency last month.
The JD-U has 117 legislators and it enjoys the support of three other legislators in the Bihar assembly which at present has a strength of 233.