The Congress on Thursday announced its final list of 49 candidates for the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections fielding actor-turned-politician and former Lok Sabha MP Shatrughan Sinha’s son Luv from the Bankipur seat in Patna and veteran socialist leader Sharad Yadav’s daughter Subhashini from the Bihariganj seat in Madhepura.
The party has also fielded former Bihar Chief Minister Abdul Gafoor’s grandson Asif Gafoor from Gopalganj and AICC secretary ChandanYadav from Beldaur seat in Khagaria. The state youth Congress chief Gunjan Patel has been fielded from the Nalanda seat.
The party chose to officially release the list late in the evening while many candidates including Luv already filed their nominations during the day. Luv’s entry will make the contest in Bankipur interesting.
It will be a multi-cornered battle among sitting MLA of the BJP Nitin Navin, Luv and Pushpam Priya, head of a new party called Plurals. The contest becomes more interesting with BJP rebel Sushma Sahu also contesting as an Independent.
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Though all four Patna seats, Kumhrar, Patna Saheb, Bankipur and Digha, have BJP MLAs and are taken as pocketborough of the party, Bankipur seat has brought some interest among voters. Pushpam Priya, who declared herself as the CM candidate, chose Bankipur in her bid to attract attention of leading political parties.
The party has re-nominated all its sitting MLAs barring one – Bhorey MLA Anil Kumar. While one MLA had died, another joined the JD(U) last month.
Those MLAs who have been given tickets again include Madan Mohan Tiwari from Bettiah, Amita Bhushan from Begusarai and Ajeet Sharma from Bhagalpur, Vinay Varma from Narkatiaganj, Amit Kumar Tunna from Riga, Bhawana Jha from Benipatti, Abidur Rahman from Araria, Md. Tauseef Alam from Bahadurganj, Abdul Jalil Mastan from Amour, Md. Afaque Alam from Kasba, Shakeel Ahmad Khan from Kadwa, Manohar Prasad Singh from Manihari and Punam Kumari Alias Punam Paswan from Korha. Two MLAs – Ashok Kumar and Vijay Shanker Dubey – have shifted their seats.
The Congress had to concede four of its sitting seats going to polls in the second phase and third phase to the allies. While the Bhorey seat has gone to CPI(ML) Liberation, the Bachhwara seat has gone to the CPI. The Manjhi seat, held by former minister Dubey, has been given to the CPM. The Gobindpur seat has gone to the RJD.
While Bachhwara MLA Ramdeo Rai died last month, Gobindpur MLA Purnima Yadav quit the party and joined the JD(U). Since his Manjhi seat has gone to the CPM, Dubey has been fielded from the Maharajganj seat.
In Rosera seat in Samastipur district, the party has fielded Nagendra Paswan in place of sitting MLA Ashok Kumar. Kumar has been fielded from the neighbouring Kusheshwar Asthan in Dharbanga district.
The party will contest 70 seats in the elections, while its alliance party RJD will contest 144 seats. Besides, a total of 29 seats have been allocated to three Left parties—CPI-ML (19), CPI (6), CPM (4)—to contest.
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