Dealing a major blow to the Congress in Bihar, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad on Monday practically ended ties with it by putting up candidates in three constituencies where Congress has sitting MPs.
Earlier, the three seats --- Sasaram (SC), Madhubani and Aurangabad --- were alloted to the Congress by the RJD-LJP combine.
At a hurriedly called press conference in Patna, the Railway Minister released his party's list of candidates from 28 seats, leaving the remaining 12, out of 40 Lok Sabha seats, for the LJP.
However, the Congress resolved to contest 37 seats on its own, sparing Saran and Pataliputra, which Lalu is to contest, and Hajipur from where Paswan will try his luck.
Prasad on Monday announced his party's candidates even in the seats won by the Congress in 2004 Lok Sabha polls.
The RJD has fielded Lalan Paswan, who resigned as JD(U) member in the state assembly before switching over to the RJD yesterday, against Union Minister and Congress nominee Meira Kumar from Sasaram (SC).
Similarly, state RJD president Abdul Bari Siddiqui would be contesting against Union Minister of State for Home and Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed in Madhubani.
RJD's spokesman and MLA Shakeel Ahmed Khan would cross swords with sitting Congress MP and retired IPS officer Nikhil Kumar from Aurangabad, Prasad added.
Prasad released the list of candidates for 25 out of 28 seats the RJD would be contesting, keeping pending declaration of candidates for Maharajganj, Patna Sahib and Madhepura.
The RJD's list includes Union Ministers Taslimuddin (Kishanganj), Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (Vaishali), Akhlesh Prasad Singh (Purvi Champaran), Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav (Banka), Kanti Singh (Karakat), Raghunath Jha (Valmikinagar) and M A A Fatmi (Darbhanga).
Other sitting RJD Lok Sabha members whose names figured in the list of candidates include Sitaram Singh (Sheohar), Sitaram Singh (Sitamarhi), Devendra Prasad Yadav (Jhanjharpur), Alok Kumar Mehta (Ujiarpur), R K Rana (Khagaria), Ramjee Manjhi (Gaya).
Significantly, Hina Shahab, wife of controversial RJD leader Mohammed Shahabuddin, facing life imprisonment in some criminal cases, was allotted a party ticket from Siwan.