Mind-games seem to have begun among top leaders of JD(U) amidst talks of the party “offering safer” Nalanda seat to party national president Sharad Yadav, who has been sitting MP from Madhepura for long time and has even defeated Lalu Prasad once.
Sharad Yadav, however, dismissed “any such offer” outright and said even discussing this was no less than an “insult” to him. “Even if Nitish Kumar asks me to contest from Nalanda, I will not do so,” said a miffed Yadav. Kaushlendra is the sitting Nalanda MP.
Although Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has not made any statement regarding the Nalanda offer, sources said the party had been considering to shift its stalwart candidate from Madhepura, which may not be safe for Sharad Yadav with controversial former MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav entering the fray as RJD nominee from there.
BJP is all set to field Vijay Kumar Singh, a strong Kushwaha leader and husband of Bihariganj JD(U) MLA Renu Kushwaha, who resigned as minister from Nitish cabinet on Monday. “With some anti-incumbency against Sharadji and Narendra Modi factor working for BJP, Nalanda could have been a safer choice for the party national president,” said a JD(U) source adding that it was at “discussion level”.
But a section of JD(U) leaders called it a mind-game between two top leaders of the party. “If Sharadji switches to Nalanda, he will be indebted to Nitishji for life. But Sharad Yadav can never take this offer as the moment he takes it, he will be politically over. He would prefer to lose from Madhepura than win from Nalanda,” said a senior JD(U) leader.
JD(U) national spokesperson K C Tyagi said: “It is absolute rumour mongering and Sharadji has already clarified this.”
Nitish inducts JD(U) MLA Lesi Singh in Cabinet to prevent rebellion
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday inducted JD(U) Dhamdaha (Purnea) MLA Lesi Singh as minister in his Cabinet to “prevent rebellion”. Singh, an upper caste Rajput leader who was reportedly promised the party ticket from Purnea, was denied the ticket. Instead, JD(U) is likely to announce candidature of Baisi BJP MLA Santosh Kumar, a Kushwaha leader, the party candidate from the area. Kumar is likely to resign from BJP on Wednesday. Though the Cabinet expansion does not amount to violation of the model code of conduct, BJP legislature party leader Sushil Kumar Modi called it an “attempt to appease a certain caste group”. Sources said JD(U), whose tally has already been reduced to 115 MLAs – seven short of majority on its own, cannot afford to lose any MLA. ENS
DDC vice-chairperson Ashish Khetan said, “As of today he does not hold the charge anymore.”