Paswan skips SP rally, fuels speculation

Paswan on Monday gave a go-by to Samajwadi Party's rally in Rampur, in what could be interpreted as the wily Dalit leader weighing his options independently.

Paswan, a bit player from Bihar who forged a 'fourth front' with Lalu Prasad and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and vowed to jointly hammer out post-poll moves, did not go to Rampur even when the RJD supremo made his presence felt by aggressively campaigning for SP candidate Jaya Prada.

While the LJP chief is not seen as worth more than three MPs, the development is seen as crucial in the run-up to results on May 16 which is sure to witness a mad scramble for allies. Congress saw it as something on expected lines. A strategist said, "Fronts were forged for elections and as voting gets over, leaders are beginning to think in personal terms."

Sources said the Congress line was clear that anyone ready to join hands for a "secular government" was welcome.