Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad may contest from Dhanbad
Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad, who recently quit BJP and joined the Congress, may be fielded from Dhanbad in Jharkhand, although a final decision will be taken by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Azad, a former cricketer and son of Bihar’s former chief minister Bhagwat Jha Azad, has won Darbhanga Lok Sabha seat thrice for the BJP.
After he joined Congress, the party was keen on fielding him from Darbhanga, but the seat went into the RJD kitty as part of the seat sharing deal of the Grand Alliance. The RJD has decided ti field party veteran Abdul Bari Siddiqui from the constituency.
Later, Congress reportedly offered Valmikinagar seat to Azad, but he is said to have declined the offer.
Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) Madan Mohan Jha said Azad’s case was under the consideration of party high command and it would be resolved soon. With regard to the party’s decision to pick its nominee for Valmikinagar, Jha said candidates for Valmikinagar and Patna Sahib would be formally announced after the approval of AICC chief.
On his part, Azad said he was ready to contest from any seat, which the party deemed it fit for him. “I am not the person to escape from the field,” he said.
Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee (JPCC) spokesman Alok Pandey said the party might field Azad from the coal capital of Jharkhand, Dhanbad.
The Congress, which has got seven out of the total 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand as part of Grand Alliance deal in the state, has not yet announced its candidates for four seats of Dhanbad, Hazaribag, Chatra and Khunti. But Congress insiders say Dhanbad may not be a cakewalk for Azad, though Biharis constitute a sizeable chunk of voters of the urban constituency.
The BJP has already fielded its stalwart Pashupati Nath Singh from Dhanbad. Singh had won the seat by a margin of about 3 lakh votes in 2014, defeating his nearest rival Ajay Kumar Dubey of the Congress.