Other States

RJD, Congress split over candidates for Bihar bypolls

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav   | Photo Credit: PTI

With the Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) announcing names of two party candidates on Sunday for the two bypolls in Bihar in absence of leaders from mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) allies, the rift between the Congress and RJD came to the fore for the first time after 2020 Assembly elections. The Congress party had earlier announced that it would contest one seat of Kusheshwar Asthan, which had been assigned to it in 2020.

The bypolls are scheduled to be held on October 30.

The RJD State president Jagdanand Singh on Sunday announced the names of long-time party workers Ganesh Bharti and Arun Kumar Shah for the Kusheswar Asthan and Tarapur seats respectively. However, no leader from the Congress or any other alliance partners of mahagathbandhan were present during Mr Singh’s announcement.

“I’m not aware whether our top party leadership was consulted on the issue of candidates for the bypolls,” said senior State Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Akhilesh Singh. State party spokesperson Asit Nath Tiwari told media persons, “The RJD has announced names of its own party candidates but Congress party, I think, has not been consulted over the issue. Let’s wait for some time and all will be clear”.

RJD leader and party spokespersons Mrityunjay Tiwari, however, said, “Top leadership of both the parties must have consulted each other and only after that names of two candidates have been announced for the by-poll. These two candidates are from RJD but they have got the support of mahagathbandhan.”

Recently, former Communist Party of India (CPI) leader from Bihar Kanhaiya Kumar joined the Congress and the buzz in political circles of the State has been that the move might have not gone down well between mahagathbandhan allies.

Mr. Kumar had lost the parliamentary poll in 2019 in a high-profile contest from Begusarai seat against the BJP’s Giriraj Singh. State Congress leaders had said that with the entry of Mr. Kumar, the party will be “strengthened” in Bihar. However, RJD leaders refrained from making any direct comment on his entry into the Congress party.

Earlier, the JD(U) had announced names of Aman Bhushan Hazari, son of former party MLA Sashibhushan Hazari and Rajiv Kumar Singh for Kusherwar Asthan and Tarapur seats respectively which had fallen vacant after death of sitting JD(U) MLAs Sashibhushan Hazari and Mewalal Choudhury.

The Congress had staked claim to the Kusheshwar Asthan seat as its party leader Ashok Kumar had contested and was defeated on the seat by a margin of over 7,000 votes in the 2020 Assembly elections.

The results on both the seats will be announced on November 2.

In the 243-seat Assembly, the JD(U) has 43, BJP-74, RJD-75, the Congress 19 and the Left parties 16 seats. Smaller parties like the Vikashil Insaan Party and Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) have four seats each in their kitty. The BJP’s vote share was 19.5% while, RJD had 23.1%, JD(U) had got 15.4% and Congress had 9.5%.


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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 3:02:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rjd-congress-split-over-candidates-for-bihar-bypolls/article36806855.ece

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