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Congmen drub 'list of discards'

With campaigning for the first phase of elections in Bihar reaching a feverish pitch, the Congress is worried about "non-cooperation" by disgruntled leaders who claim to have been "overlooked" in the ticket distribution.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2010 01:03 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

With campaigning for the first phase of elections in Bihar reaching a feverish pitch, the Congress is worried about "non-cooperation" by disgruntled leaders who claim to have been "overlooked" in the ticket distribution.

These "loyal" Congressmen are up-in-arms against party bosses for allocating a large chunk of tickets to "discards" of other political parties such as Lalu Prasad’s RJD, Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP and the ruling JD(U) of Nitish Kumar.

Out of the 243 candidates announced by the Congress, 91 are those who have been recommended by "outsiders" such as Ranjeeta Ranjan, Lovely Anand, Sadhu Yadav, Lallan Singh, Umashankar Singh, Nagmani and Akhilesh Kumar Singh.

Barring Lallan Singh and Umashankar Singh, who are officially still with the JD(U) and the RJD, the rest have joined the Congress during the past one-and-a-half year or so.

Sticky figures

39 candidates have been in the party only for a year
36 people have lost the last
3-4 elections (Assembly or Lok Sabha)
Three candidates formally joined the Congress only after seeing their names in the list
91 recommended by 'outsiders' such as Ranjeeta Ranjan, Lovely Anand, Sadhu Yadav, Lallan Singh, Umashankar Singh and Akhilesh Kumar Singh.

Then there are 39 candidates who have been in the party only for a year and the list also has 36 people who had lost the last 3-4 elections — either assembly or Lok Sabha — on tickets of different political parties. Three such candidates formally joined the Congress only after seeing their names in the list.

"The list is depressing and disturbing," a Congress leader said. "Those who remained loyal to the Congress during its bad days have been ignored."

A section within the state unit alleged that tickets were given to non-resident Biharis, many of them businessmen based in Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Guwahati and Delhi. "Some of these millionaire businessmen claim to have bought the tickets for lakhs," alleged a Bihar Congress leader.

In its revival bid and having decided to go it alone on all the seats, the Congress had opened its doors to everybody and became the most attractive destination for those who were denied tickets by other parties.

"The result is that Congress in Bihar has become an extension of RJD, LJP and JD(U)," another leader said.

But party leaders dismissed the criticism, saying those joining the Congress from other parties showed which side the political wind is blowing in Bihar.

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