Ahmad Ashfaque Karim, who hoped to contest Katihar Lok Sabha seat, quits RJD - Hindustan Times
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Ahmad Ashfaque Karim, who hoped to contest Katihar Lok Sabha seat, quits RJD

ByAditya Nath Jha
Apr 13, 2024 02:53 PM IST

Katihar Lok Sabha constituency went to the Congress as part of the seat-sharing agreement between the five party opposition Grand Alliance in Bihar

KATIHAR: Former Rajya Sabha member Ahmad Ashfaque Karim has resigned from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), accusing the party that had been pushing for proportionate representation of committing injustice to minorities.

 (Facebook/Ashfaquekarim)
(Facebook/Ashfaquekarim)

Karim, 68, who became a Rajya Sabha member in 2018 and completed his first term on April 2, had been keen to contest the Lok Sabha elections from the 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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The 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-cum-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.

A senior RJD leader said Karim’s resignation could impact the Opposition alliance in the Seemanchal region because he was speculated to be in touch with the JDU, which is contesting three of the four seats. In 2019, JDU won two seats followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress which won one constituency each in Seemanchal.

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