JD(U) announces Lok Sabha candidates; OBCs, EBCs get preference


NEW DELHI: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) on Sunday announced candidates for all 16 Lok Sabha seats it is contesting in the state, with priority being accorded to Other Backward Classes and Extremely Backward Classes, the party’s core base.

According to the list made public at the JD(U) office in the presence of national vice president Vashisth Narayan Singh and Sanjay Kumar Jha, 12 of the party’s sitting MPs have been given another chance from their respective seats.

However, in the seats of Sitamarhi and Siwan, sitting MPs Sunil Kumar Pintu and Kavita Singh respectively have been denied tickets by the party which has hedged its bets on legislative council chairman Devesh Chandra Thakur and Vijaylaxmi Devi, who joined the JD(U) along with her husband Ramesh Singh Thakur just the day before.

”All the candidates have been decided by the CM who is also the party president. We have reposed our faith in most of our sitting MPs but in some places, there have been changes,” said Jha.

As per the formula announced by the NDA earlier this week, the JD(U) has been assigned 16 out of the state’s 40 seats, equivalent to its current strength in the Lok Sabha but one less than the number it had contested five years ago.

The party will be contesting the Muslim-majority constituency of Kishanganj, which it had lost in 2019, reposing its trust in Mujahid Alam, who was defeated by the Congress winner by a margin of less than 35,000 votes.

Besides, the party has given up its sitting seat of Karakat, represented by Mahabali Singh, for ally Rashtriya Lok Morcha, headed by former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, but got Sheohar, which was previously held by BJP.

The JD(U)’s Sheohar candidate will be Lovely Anand, wife of mafia don-turned-politician Anand Mohan and mother of RJD MLA Chetan Anand who crossed over to the NDA during the assembly’s budget session last month.

According to Sanjay Jha, the list of candidates includes ”six OBCs, five EBCs, one Mahadalit, a Muslim and three from the upper castes. There are also two women. Care has been taken to ensure that all sections of the society get a fair representation”.

The party is contesting only one of the six reserved constituencies in Bihar, Gopalganj, where sitting MP Alok Suman will seek re-election.

Among the other sitting MPs who will be seeking re-election from their respective seats are former JD(U) president Rajiv Ranjan Singh ‘Lalan’ (Munger) and Nalanda MP Kaushalendra Kumar, who will be running for a fourth consecutive term from the seat that has in the past been represented by Nitish Kumar himself and his mentor George Fernandes.

Besides, Purnea MP Santosh Kumar Kushwaha, who made his debut in 2014, when he held his own in the face of the Modi wave, and retained the seat five years later, bolstered by the JD(U)’s realignment with BJP, will be seeking a hat-trick.

The seat may be heading for a triangular contest with the Congress having promised its ticket to Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, who recently merged his Jan Adhikar Party, and signals emanating from the RJD that it may field Bima Bharti, a JD(U) MLA who joined the RJD on Saturday night.

Other JD(U) candidates are Sunil Kumar (Valmiki Nagar), Ramprit Mandal (Jhanjharpur), Dileshwar Kamait (Supaul), Dulal Chandra Goswami (Katihar), Dinesh Chandra Yadav (Madhepura), Ajay Kumar Mandal (Bhagalpur), Giridhari Yadav (Banka) and Chandreshwar Prasad Chandravanshi (Jehanabad), all sitting MPs, getting tickets from their respective seats.

Source: Press Trust of India

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