Congress names candidates for three LS seats, ex-minister Sahay to contest from Ranchi
Former union minister Subodh Kant Sahay will be the Congress’s Lok Sabha candidate from Ranchi, while the party’s former state unit president and MLA Sukhdeo Bhagat will contest from Lohardaga and Jagannathpur legislator Gita Koda, wife of ex-chief minister Madhu Koda, will enter the fray from the Singhbhum Lok Sabha constituency, the Jharkhand Congress chapter announced early Wednesday.
As part of the grand opposition alliance, the Congress has been allotted 7 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand. The party is yet to announce candidates for the other four seats in Hazaribagh, Dhanbad, Khunti and Chatra, the constituency which will be the first to go to polls on April 29.
Persons familiar with developments within the Congress said that with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) adamant on fielding Subhash Yadav - former CM Lalu Prasad’s brother-in-law - from Chatra, the Congress could ultimately leave the seat to that party. “Otherwise it could lead to more ‘friendly fights’ in other constituencies that would defeat the very purpose of the grand alliance,” said a senior party leader.
However, the spokesman of the Jharkhand chapter of the Congress, Kishore Nath Shahdeo, insisted that his party will field a candidate from Chatra. “The last date for withdrawal of nominations for Chatra is April 12. We are confident that we will be able to convince the RJD to withdraw their candidature,” he said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), too, is yet to announce names for three constituencies including Ranchi but Congress’s Ranchi candidate, Subodh Kant Sahay, said he was not worried about whom the saffron party will field against him.
“I don’t prepare for an election in 15-20 days, it is an ongoing process for me,” said Sahay, who also held a meeting with JMM President Shibu Soren and leader of the opposition, Hemant Soren on Wednesday. “Anybody is welcome.”
Sahay, who will fight under the slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’, said that he will make people aware about the ‘failures’ of the Modi government and how it wasted five years in office in ‘pitching communities against each other’.
“All they did was demolish the social fabric of the country. Their five year rule was nothing but bundle of lies. They shattered the hopes of youth with joblessness and made several small time traders bankrupt. All this will prove to be a blow for the BJP,” he said.
In Lohardaga, Sukhdeo Bhagat will take on union minister Sudhershan Bhagat, while Gita Koda will challenge BJP state unit president and sitting MP Laxman Gilua in Singhbhum.