Even as constituents of RJD-led Grand Alliance are not yet decided because of stiff seat-sharing posturing from all parties, former Bihar Assembly Speaker and veteran dalit leader Uday Narayan Choudhary on Saturday said he was sure to contest from Imamganj (Gaya) seat, irrespective of former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) being part of Grand Alliance or not. In last Assembly elections, Jitan Ram Manjhi had defeated Uday Narayan Choudhary from Imamganj. Choudhary later fell out with CM Nitish Kumar and joined RJD.
Uday Narayan Choudhary told The Indian Express: “I have been representing Imamganj traditionally. I am now in RJD and I would be the party nominee from the seat”. Asked it js Manjhi who represents the seat and he might not concede the only sitting seat of his party if he is part of Grand Alliance, Choydhary said: “It did not matter to him. Let Manjhi still contest from Imamganj. I am willing to settle scores with him”.
Choudhary said though surging Covid cases warranted postponement of Assembly polls, his party had been prepared for elections. He said: “With Election Commission on Saturday notifying for local bodies’ bypolls later this month, it is suggestive of Assembly polls being held on time… But we do not want election in coming two-three months. It will be very insensitive to hold elections. Dealing with Covid crisis and floods has to be top priority”.
HAM (S) spokesperson Danish Rizwan said: “Let Uday Narayan Choudhary contest from wherever he wants. He should not be bothering about our leader Manjhi”. Asked if HAM (S) has been in talks with JD (U) and AIMIM, he said: “We will speak at the right time. Let leaders like Choudhary challenge us”.
RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tewari said: “Uday Narayan Choudhary is a respectable leader of our party and held important position of Assembly speaker. As for who contests from where, it is top leadership that takes a call at right time”. Asked if Manjhi would continue with Grand Alliance, Tewary said: “It is tough to answer. But our party has been trying for a strong Grand Alliance”.
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