Muslims unhappy as Laloo fields former RSS men
Muslims, who have traditionally supported Laloo Prasad Yadav, are now fuming at him for fielding candidates known to have Hindu nationalist links in the upcoming polls.
The community comprises a sizeable segment of the state's 83 million population. And pertaining to the news some Muslims in Gaya have already declared they will not support the RJD candidate there because of his RSS background.
Yadav has fielded Rajesh Kumar Majhi, a former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader who allegedly took part in the destruction of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya in 1992, from Gaya.
Majhi will contest against the BJP's Balbir Chand who is a former police officer. Majhi had unsuccessfully contested as the BJP candidate for the Bodh Gaya assembly seat in 2000.
Yadav has also angered Muslims by nominating Bhagwanlal Sahni, a former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, against Defence Minister George Fernandes from Muzaffarpur.
State Congress president Ram Jatan Sinha has even accused Yadav of deliberately putting up a "dummy" candidate opposite Fernandes.
Another RJD candidate with an RSS background is Dhirendra Agarwal from Chatra, whose father is still an important RSS functionary.
Muslims are also angry over the nomination of Sitaram Yadav for the Sitamarhi seat. "He is not a VHP man but he is even more communal," a local Muslim leader alleged.
"He camped in Sitamarhi during a recent assembly by-election to ensure the defeat of his own party's candidate, Shahid Ali Khan, going on record that he will not allow a Muslim to win in the constituency."