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Monday, Aug 19, 2019

Shatrughan, Tejashwi, Kanhaiya to meet in Taslimuddin’s bastion in Bihar’s Araria

Meet called by late RJP MP’s eldest son, on table are six Lok Sabha seats

patna Updated: Jan 03, 2019 18:17 IST
Aditya Nath Jha
Aditya Nath Jha
Hindustan Times, Araria
Md Taslimuddin
Md Taslimuddin(HT File)

Prominent leaders of Mahagahthbandhan, or Grand Alliance (GA), in Bihar will assemble to mark the birth anniversary of former Araria MP (late) Md Taslimuddin on Friday, a move seen as a show of strength ahead of the Lok Sabha elections due this year.

The meeting has been called by Sarfaraz Alam, RJD MP from Araria who is also patron of Seemanchal Vikas Morcha. Alam is the eldest son of Taslimuddin.

BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha, former president of JNU Students’ Union Kanhaiya Kumar and Bihar’s opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav are among prominent faces likely to attend the meet to be held at Subhash Chandra Bose stadium in Araria on January 4. Some TMC leaders from West Bengal are also likely to come.

During the meeting, the leaders are likely to chalk out a strategy to counter the BJP in Muslim-dominated Seemanchal and Kosi comprising six Lok Sabha seats. “Yes, you can’t rule out the possibility of a big political parley,” said B K Thakur, president of Seemanchal Vikash Morcha.

Md Moujam, district president of RJD’s youth wing, said several other leaders and friends of Md Taslimuddin from various states were also likely to attend the meet.

Another RJD leader said the meet was also aimed at projecting Taslimuddin’s eldest son as his political heir.

“The RJD’s win in Araria by-election necessitated by the death of Taslimuddin can’t be seen as a true win of the party as there is a huge difference between Taslimuddin and his eldest son. The youngest son, Shahnawaz, who won Jokihat assembly bypoll after his eldest brother quit the seat, is much more popular,” the RJD leader, not wishing to be identified, said.

The Seemanchal region, comprising districts of Purnia, Katihar, Kishanganj and Araria, has substantial Muslim population, ranging from 40% (Araria) to almost 70% (Kishanganj).

In the Kosi region comprising three districts of Saharsa, Madhepura and Supaul, the BJP could win none of the two Lok Sabha seats in 2014 despite the Modi wave.

During the last Assembly elections in 2015, the grand alliance, then comprising JD(U), RJD and the Congress, had won 29 out of the 37 seats in Seemanchal and Kosi regions. Of these, the JD(U) had won 14, RJD 7 and Congress 8. The BJP could win just 7 seats while one seat went in favour of CPI (ML).  

Overall, the GA had won 178 seats in the 243-member Bihar assembly while the BJP-led NDA won 58. 

First Published: Jan 03, 2019 11:42 IST

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