Chirag Paswan’s party announces candidates for Lok Sabha polls


NEW DELHI: The Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas), headed by Chirag Paswan, on Saturday announced candidates for all the five seats in Bihar it will be contesting as an NDA ally.

While Chirag’s brother-in-law Arun Bharti has already filed nomination papers from Jamui, the party president, who has represented the seat twice in a row, will try his luck from Hajipur, his late father Ram Vilas Paswan’s pocket borough.

For the remaining three seats of Samastipur, Khagaria and Vaishali, the party will field Shambhavi Choudhary, Manish Verma and sitting MP Veena Devi, respectively, according to a statement issued by the LJP (Ram Vilas).

Choudhary, who will be making her debut, is the daughter of Ashok Chaudhary, a senior JD(U) leader and one of the most influential ministers in the Nitish Kumar government.

Her seat, reserved for Dalits, was held by Prince Raj, Chirag’s cousin who joined uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras in a revolt that resulted in a split in the LJP, founded by the late Paswan.

Verma, a confidant of Chirag, has been preferred over sitting MP Chaudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser, who had initially sided with Paras but changed tack recently and lobbied hard with Chirag, hoping for a third consecutive term.

According to NDA sources, Verma has been chosen because of a ”broader understanding between coalition partners” to ensure adequate representation for the Vaishyas, known to be BJP loyalists.

Veena Devi, who was the first among LJP rebels to have reverted to the Chirag camp, is an upper caste Rajput, married to Dinesh Kumar Singh, a JD(U) MLC.

Source: Press Trust of India

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