RJD’s decision to field candidate in bypoll latest flashpoint in ties with Congress
Fissures within the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) in Bihar appeared to widen on Sunday after the Congress expressed “shock” over ally Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)’s decision to field a candidate from Kusheshwarsthan seat for the upcoming bypoll on October 30.
The Congress insists that the seat was allocated to them as part of the deal among opposition parties during the 2020 assembly elections. Hours after the RJD listed its candidates for bypolls to both Kusheshwarsthan and Tarapur assembly constituencies, the Congress said it was also contemplating fielding its nominees for both seats for the elections.
Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) chief Madan Mohan Jha told HT: “The announcement came as a shock to the (Congress) party as we were following the coalition dharma and was preparing for Kusheshwarsthan seat, which was allocated to the Congress under the seat adjustment among the opposition alliance during the 2020 assembly elections,” Jha said.
The BPCC chief said the party has almost finalised its nominees for Kusheshwarsthan assembly seat in Darbhanga, which is reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates, and that consultations are underway to finalise the nominees for Tarapur constituency in Munger district. “However, the final decision on naming the candidates would be taken by the party high command who has been apprised about the developments, post the RJD’s decision to field its nominee on both the seats,” he said.
State RJD chief Jagadanand Singh announced that Bhagalpur-based party leader Arun Kumar Sah and Ganesh Bharti Sada would contest the by-elections from Tarapur and Kusheshwarsthan seats, respectively.