Former RJD MP from Seemanchal joins JD(U) - Hindustan Times
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Former RJD MP from Seemanchal joins JD(U)

ByAditya Nath Jha, Katihar
Apr 13, 2024 09:34 PM IST

Former Rajya Sabha member Ahmad Ashfaque Karim joined JD(U) after quitting RJD, accusing the party of injustice to minorities in seat allocation.

Former Rajya Sabha member Ahmad Ashfaque Karim joined the Janata Dal (United) on Saturday, a day after he quit the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), accusing the party that had been pushing for proportionate representation of committing injustice to minorities.

Former RJD MP Ashfaq Karim joins JD(U) in Patna on Saturday. Karim, who runs a medical college among other enterprises, is a prominent face in Seemanchal region. (HT Photo)
Former RJD MP Ashfaq Karim joins JD(U) in Patna on Saturday. Karim, who runs a medical college among other enterprises, is a prominent face in Seemanchal region. (HT Photo)

Karim, 68, who became a Rajya Sabha member in 2018 and completed his first term on April 2, was keen on contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Katihar seat and had already started his campaign. But the seat was among the nine that the RJD conceded to the Congress as part of the agreement sealed between the five-party opposition Mahagatbandhan or Grand Alliance (GA).

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Congress has named Tariq Anwar, 73, its candidate. Anwar won the seat on a Nationalist Congress Party ticket in 2014 but in 2019, he was defeated by Dulal Chandra Goswami of the Janata Dal (United).

In a letter to RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav on Friday, Karim said the party pushed for proportionate representation of different sections of society in line with their population.“But you have snatched the rights of Muslims. Far from being given anything proportionate to their population, they have not been given anything respectable. This makes it impossible for me to continue in RJD,” said Karim, a prominent entrepreneur in the region.

Karim later said he was assured of a party ticket which eventually went to a Congress leader at the last moment. “I feel cheated and betrayed and my supporters are upset over the RJD decision,” Karim added

Karim is chancellor of Al Karim University in Katihar and founder chairman and managing director of Katihar Medical College and Hospital.

He first contested the Katihar Lok Sabha seat in 2010 on a Lok Janshakti Party ticket and later established a political group, Kosi Bedari Morcha before moving to the RJD.

At a function in Patna on Saturday, Karim joined the JD(U) in presence of the party’s state unit president Umesh Singh Kushwaha, minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary , Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Jha and others.

Choudhary said Karim’s decision to join JD(U) was reflection of how Muslims in the state have faith in the JD(U). “His decision to join JD(U) will strengthen the party,” he said.

JD(U) is contesting three of the four seats in the Seemanchal region.

In 2019, JD(U) won two seats followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress which won one constituency each in Seemanchal.

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