March 16, 2009 1:11:56 am
The JD(U) in Bihar does not want a showdown between Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan at least till elections. They want to face a united UPA to improve its tally in the Lok Sabha elections.
A united UPA will surely suit the NDA as there will be a straight fight. The last Assembly elections showed that a fragmented UPA could scatter votes and eat into vote percentage of the JD(U), JD(U) national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Shivanand Tiwari told The Indian Express.
As compared to 22.36 vote percentage of the JD(U) in 2004 Lok Sabha elections,the party got 20.46 per cent votes in the last Assembly elections,and the JD(U) partner BJP got 15.65 per cent,which paved the way for the formation of a NDA government in the state.
The JD(U) has been cautiously watching moves of the LJP and RJD over their choice of candidates. The RJD,LJP and Congress are learnt to have agreed on contesting 22,12 and six seats respectively. But Tiwari suggested the party can announce its candidates only after the UPAs list is made public. Well assess constituencies profile and opponents stature to decide candidates, said Tiwari,adding the party would contest on 25 seats,one more than last time. The BJP has conceded Kisanganj seat to the JD(U),though amidst resentment among BJP cadres there.
While Bihar Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary,often termed partisan by the Opposition,is likely to contest from reserved Jamui seat,senior leader George Fernandes has expressed his desire to contest from Muzaffarpur. The party,however,is in a bind over his failing health.
George saheb first wanted to contest from Nalanda,now he wants Muzaffarpur. We will speak to him to take a final call on it. Till then,no second candidate is being discussed for Muzaffarpur, said a senior JD(U) leader.
Kailash Baitha,who represented Bagha in the 14th Lok Sabha,may lose his ticket from reserved Gopalganj seat to Poornamasi Ram. Recent JD(U) inductee Ranjan Prasad Yadav is likely to take on former friend Lalu Prasad from Pataliputra.
Other likely contestants include Mina Singh from Ara,Prabhunath Singh from Maharajganj,Jagdish Sharma from Jehanabad and Sushil Singh from Aurangabad.
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