The Nitish Kumar-headed Janata Dal United (JD-U) on Wednesday released the list of its 115 candidates for the upcoming Bihar elections, fielding RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s ‘samdhi’ Chandrika Roy from his traditional Parsa assembly seat even though former DGP Gupteshwar Pandey failed to make the cut.
Six-time MLA Chandrika Rai, father of Tej Pratap Yadav’s estranged wife Aishwarya, had joined JD(U) in August after quitting RJD earlier this year, calling it a “party of capitalists”. Rai, who served as transport minister in the Grand Alliance government in Bihar, had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Saran.
Erstwhile RJD legislators Maheshwar Prasad Yadav, Ashok Kumar, Jai Vardhan Yadav and Birendra Kumar Singh, who joined JD(U) in the last two months, were nominated from Gaighat, Sasaram, Paliganj and Teghra constituencies respectively.
However, what has raised eyebrows is the name of Gupteshwar Pandey, who took VRS last month and later joined JD(U) in presence of the chief minister himself, missing from the list of candidates. The 59-year-old 1987-batch IPS officer was in the running for a party ticket from Buxar or Shahpur for the state polls.
From taking on the Opposition for questioning the Bihar government’s handling of a triple murder case in Gopalganj to becoming the face of the state’s pursuit of the Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case, Pandey had made his political inclinations clear way back in July and looked set to enter the poll fray. However, it remains to be seen if Pandey is given a ticket for the Lok Sabha bypoll in Valmiki Nagar.
Buxar, hometown of Pandey, and Shahpur have gone to the BJP under seat-sharing formula. The JD(U) got two seats in the Buxar district — Dumraon and Rajpur (reserved SC) — where it named Anjum Ara and state minister Santosh Kumar Nirala respectively.
Interestingly, Pandey’s former police colleague Sunil Kumar, who retired as Director General (Home Guards) recently, has been nominated by the JD(U) from Bhore (reserved seat) in Gopalganj district.
Speaker of the outgoing assembly Vijay Kumar Chaudhary will contest from his traditional seat Saraiganj in Samastipur district.
Ministers Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Ram Sevak Singh, Shrawan Kumar, Jai Kumar Singh, Bima Bharti, Madan Sahni,
Khursheed Firoz Ahmad, Shailesh Kumar and Krishnandan Prasad Varma have been repeated from their old constituencies.
Jaivardhan Singh Yadav, grandson of former Bihar minister and a powerful yadav leader Ramlakhan Singh Yadav, has been given ticket from his old seat Paliganj while Faraz Fatmi has been named from Darbhanga rural seat. Both had left RJD and joined JD(U) recently.
The two RLSP MLAs — Lallan Paswan and Sudhansu Sekhar — who had crossed over to Kumar’s party have also been
renominated. HAM has already named its candidates from seven seats, which it got from JD(U) quota of 122.
BJP has already released a list of 27 candidates for the first phase of polling in Bihar on October 28. Shooter Shreyasi Singh, daughter of former Union minister Digvijay Singh, is the BJP candidate for Jamui.
Meanwhile, the RJD has also released its list of 42 candidates for first phase of the election. The Congress also released a list of 21 candidates.
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