Purnea Lok Sabha seat may witness triangular fight as RJD candidate Bima Bharati files nomination papers

Purnea Lok Sabha seat may witness triangular fight as RJD candidate Bima Bharati files nomination papers

Bima Bharati.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Ending speculation, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) candidate Bima Bharati on April 3 filed nomination papers from the Purnea Lok Sabha seat in the presence of RJD leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav. Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, who had joined the Congress recently, will in all likelihood contest the seat as an Independent after RJD supremo Lalu Prasad did not pay attention to his appeal to forego the seat in favour of the Congress.

Mr. Pappu Yadav had earlier merged his Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik) with the Congress and on Monday had requested Mr. Prasad to leave the seat for Congress. When Ms. Bharati was filing her nomination papers, Mr. Pappu Yadav was busy campaigning in the constituency. As soon as he came to know about the development, he expressed his disappointment as he had continuously staked claim to contest from Purnea.

Now, it appears likely that the Purnea Lok Sabha seat will witness a triangular fight after Ms. Bharati’s nomination. Janata Dal (United) has repeated Santosh Kushwaha from this seat.

As per the seat-sharing pact in the mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) in Bihar, the RJD is contesting on 26 seats, the Congress on nine and the Left parties five. The RJD has now claimed Purnea under its quota.

“When other RJD candidates filed nomination papers, Tejashwi Yadav did not accompany them. Why only in Purnea? It clearly indicates he wants to hurt me. It also proves RJD’s hatred towards me. Did I ever make any attempt to harm the RJD family? Why they are so afraid of me and determined to prevent me from contesting election on Congress ticket? Tejashwi Yadav has snatched my mother seat [Purnea], he snatched the seat [Begusarai] of [youth leader] Kanhaiya Kumar, he snatched the seat [Aurangabad] of [Congress leader] Nikhil Kumar,“ Mr. Pappu Yadav told The Hindu.

Seat distribution in the Grand Alliance has led to murmurs in the Congress that the RJD is trying to “corner the party” in the State. Last Sunday, Anil Kumar Sharma, senior leader and former Bihar Congress president, had quit the party levelling serious allegations against the RJD.

Mr. Sharma raised the issue of Congress getting just nine seats in the alliance despite the fact that in the last general election, Congress was the only ally to win a seat while the RJD had lost all 26. Out of 40 seats, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had won 39.

It was believed that Mr. Pappu Yadav merged his party with the Congress after reaching consensus that he would be getting the Purnea seat. However, before formal announcement of candidates, Mr. Prasad had given the ticket to Ms. Bharati adding more controversy.

It is almost clear that Mr. Pappu Yadav will file his nomination as an Independent candidate on Thursday.

After Ms. Bharati filed her nomination, there was public meeting at Rangbhumi ground in Purnea where Mr. Tejashwi Yadav attacked Mr. Pappu Yadav without taking his name by saying many “vote-katwa”  (divider of votes) will come but people should not fall into their trap.

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