Bihar’s grand alliance seems to be headed for big trouble after Kirti Azad was denied his traditional Darbhanga seat in the new seat sharing deal. The seat sharing among the Congress, the RJD, the RLSP, the HAM, the VIP and the CPIML was finalised on Friday. According to the list, the RJD will contest on 19 seats, it has allocated nine seats to the Congress, five to the RLSP, three each to the HAM and VIP and remaining one to the CPIML.
Under the deal, the RJD has fielded Abdul Bari Siddiqui from Darbhanga, denying Kirti Azad to seek re-election from here. Azad, who was elected from Darbhanga in 2014 as a BJP candidate, had recently quit the BJP to join the Congress.
The news of Azad being denied an opportunity to contest from a seat that he has been cultivating for so long may not go down well with the cricketer-turned-politician. The constituency has a sizeable Muslim vote and was represented by RJD’s Ashraf Ali Fatimi on several occasions in the past.
Azad’s father Bhagwat Jha Azad was a tall Congress leader and headed the last Congress-led government in Bihar until Lalu Prasad Yadav formed his first ever non-Congress government in the state in 1990.
The RJD has given the Congress Kishanganj, Katihar, Purnia, Samastipur, Munger, Patna Sahib, Sasaram, Valmiki Nagar and Supaul.
The Congress is likely to field Shatrughan Sinha from Patna Sahib after he formally joins the party early next week. Pappu Yadav’s wife Ranjita Ranjan is the sitting MP from Supaul. Pappu Yadav has decided to contest this year’s Lok Sabha polls as an independent candidate from Madhepura seat after the RJD denied him a ticket. In response, the RJD has threatened to field a candidate from Supaul against his wife.
Several Congress leaders from Bihar have reportedly conveyed to Gandhi that the seat sharing deal was unfavourable to the Congress. What has angered the Congress the most is the allocation of three seats to a newly formed Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP), headed by Mukesh Sahni. The party was formed only six months ago.