Indian Express

Rashtriya Janata Dal announces first list of candidates for Lok Sabha elections

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As many as 13 RJD MLAs had deserted Lalu Prasad's party for Nitish Kumar, but 9 of them have returned. "Maine parivar ko ticket dene ka dushsahas kiya hai (I have dared to give tickets to my family members)," Lalu said.

Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad on Thursday decided to field his wife Rabri Devi and eldest daughter Misa Bharti from Saran and Pataliputra Lok Sabha seats respectively.

In the first list of 25 candidates released today, Rabri Devi, a former chief minister, seeks to retain her husband’s bastion in Saran which he had to vacate after being convicted in the fodder scam last year.

The surprise element in the list was, however, Misa Bharti.

Though her candidature has come as a major surprise to one and all within the RJD and outside, Prasad said the decision was taken on popular demand from his supporters and the voters of that constituency.

Maine parivar ko ticket dene ka dushsahas kiya hai (I have dared to give tickets to my family members),” he said.

To woo his traditional support base of Yadavs and Muslims, Prasad has given tickets to eight candidates from his caste and six from the minority community.

According to sources, a few party leaders expressed resentment over the choice of candidates. Senior leaders Gulam Gaus and Ramkripal Yadav might leave the party.

From Madhubani parliamentary seat, which was a bone of contention between RJD and Congress till inking of seat-sharing agreement on Wednesday, Prasad has fielded the party’s prominent Muslim face Abdul Bari Siddique, who is the leader of the RJD legislature party in the assembly.

Journalist Pragati Mehta, a political greenhorn, will contest from Munger while former minister in the Nitish Kumar government Bhagwan Singh Kushwaha from Arrah Lok Sabha seat.

Kushwaha, a senior JD(U) leader, joined the RJD this evening only.

Former union ministers A.A Fatmi and Mohammed Taslimuddin will contest from Darbhanga and Araria respectively.

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