"Time for alliance has ended. Now it is time to go to ground for political battle," Lalu Prasad said soon after he arrived in Patna late on Friday night from Delhi, where he was trying to finalize RJD’s alliance with the Congress but no decision has yet been taken.

Lalu, who is upset after Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) ditched him and joined hands with Bharatiya Janata Party led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), has made it clear that RJD will on its own start preparation for the general election.

"Now, time is not to visit Delhi any more for alliance with Congress. I will focus and concentrate to get ready for poll campaigns," Lalu said.

He also pointed that it is not possible to hold talk on alliance by sitting in Delhi."We will be in touch on telephone," he said.

Lalu said that he is still hopeful of an alliance with Congress, but said that responsibility for an alliance to defeat communal forces is not of his party alone.

According to a RJD leader close to Lalu, seat sharing talks have not got finalized because two Lok Sabha seats are the main bone of contention.

Although Congress has agreed to contest 15 of 40 Lok Sabha seats of Bihar and RJD on 25 seats, Congress is eyeing Madhubani and East Champaran seats and Lalu is in dilemma over it.

RJD legislature party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui wants to contest from there as he narrowly lost it to the BJP in 2009.

Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmad is equally keen to be fielded in Madhubani as he won it in 2004. Lalu is also under pressure after a revolt in his party by 13 out of 22 legislators.

It is a different issue that nine out of the 13 rebel MLAs have returned to the party fold on a promise that most of them will be given party ticket to contest Lok Sabha polls.

"Any wrong step by Lalu may trigger another crisis within his party," a RJD leader said.

Uncertainty over the alliance between RJD and Congress has given an advantage to the BJP-LJP alliance in Bihar.

Unlike in 2009, Lalu Prasad was trying hard for nearly two months in forging an alliance with the Congress and the LJP, but Ram Vilas Paswan-led party forged alliance with the BJP.

Lalu aides say that he has learnt a bitter lesson since the last Lok Sabha election when he contemptuously offered only three seats to the Congress.

In December, after being released on bail in the fodder scam, Lalu Prasad Yadav, who broke his alliance with the Congress in 2009, said that he would not repeat the mistake.

(JPN/Agencies)

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