Laloo Prasad Yadav, the ebullient chief of the Bihar-based Rashtriya Janata Dal, on Thursday called on Congress vice-president and Rahul Gandhi at his residence in New Delhi, indicating that the lapsed alliance between the two parties may soon be revived.
Although the meeting lasted just about half an hour, Laloo Prasad was apparently cordially received by Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Vadra, who is again active on the campaign trail in support of her brother ahead of the general elections due in a few months.
Yadav later told the media that ''only Bihar will stop Narendra Modi'', the Bharatiya Janata Party's candidate for prime ministership.
C P Joshi, the Congress leader in charge of Bihar affairs, was also present at the meeting at Gandhi's 11 Tughlak Road residence.
''If Narendra Modi has to be stopped, then we (the RJD, the Congress and Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP) have to come together. I had stopped the 'rath' of L K Advani. Once again, only Bihar only will stop Narendra Modi,'' Lalu Prasad said after the meeting.
He described the meeting as a ''courtesy call'' but indicated talks were going on in the right direction and a seat-sharing pact could be clinched before a key All India Congress Committee meeting on 17 January.
''There were no talks on seats today … there is a process in the Congress,'' Lalu Prasad said, asked when the deal would be finalised.
The RJD chief had met Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who is also chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance that runs the present government, last month; and today's talks were seen as a follow-up to address concerns raised by her son Rahul.
Asked about the alliance with Paswan, Lalu Prasad said he had held talks with him and was confident the three-way alliance would be sealed in time to stop ''the communal forces''.
He brushed off the Aam Aadmi Party, which now rules Delhi under Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, as a ''media creation''.
A few days back, Laloo Prasad had praised the leadership of Rahul Gandhi as "million times better" than that of Narendra Modi in Gujarat or Kejriwal's new government in Delhi.