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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: BJP’s Valmikinagar MP rebels, to fight as Independent

In 2014, BJP’s Satish Dubey won from Bihar’s Valmikinagar Lok Sabha seat by defeating Congress’ Purnamasi Ram, his nearest rival.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 16, 2019 16:43 IST
Subhash Pathak
Subhash Pathak
Hindustan Times, Patna
lok sabha elections 2019,lok sabha polls in bihar,valmikinagar LS seat
The BJP has ceded the Valmikinagar Lok Sabha seat to the JD (U) as part of seat-sharing deal in Bihar for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. (AFP)

In what may come as a blow to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), sitting BJP MP from Valmikinagar, Satish Chandra Dubey, on Monday announced his intention contest as an Independent for the seat which was ceded by his party to the JD-U as part of the seat sharing deal.

Dubey, a three-time legislator, claimed he was compelled by the party workers to file his papers as an Independent. “However, I will not resign even if I fight the polls as an Independent,” he told media persons in Bettiah.

In 2014, Dubey had won the seat by defeating Congress’ Purnamasi Ram, his nearest rival. JD-U’s Vaidyanath Prasad Mahato was also in the fray.

The JD(U) has fielded Mahato again, eyeing voters of his Kushwaha community, in addition to votes of allies BJP and LJP.

However, Dubey’s supporters, who had earlier held a demonstration against the BJP’s decision of surrendering the seat to the JD-U, say Mahato would not be able to make any significant dent into the Brahmin community, which constitutes a sizeable chunk of voters there.

After being dropped by the BJP, Dubey had made an abortive bid to join the Congress and seek a ticket, but it failed to materialise.

The Congress has instead decided to field Sashwat Kedar, grandson of former chief minister Kedar Pandey.

Earlier, over two dozen district level functionaries of the BJP had resigned from their posts in Valmikinagar following the party’s decision to cede the seat to JD-U.

Dubey is the second important BJP leader to revolt against the leadership in the run-up to the elections. Earlier, former Banka MP Putul Kumar Singh, wife of late Digvijay Singh, has turned a renegade and filed her nomination against the JD(U) candidate in the fray. The party has initiated disciplinary action against her.

Leaders of the state BJP said stern action would be taken against Dubey as well if he defied the party line.

In 2014, Dubey had polled 3.65 lakh votes, defeating Purnmasi Ram by a margin of 1.20 lakh votes. Mahato of JD(U) stood third, with about 81,000 votes.

First Published: Apr 16, 2019 16:43 IST