Bihar Assembly Election 2020: Cong releases final list of candidates - Hindustan Times
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Bihar Assembly Election 2020: Cong releases final list of candidates

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Oct 16, 2020 06:46 AM IST

Senior Bihar Congress leader Kishore Kumar Jha said state party chief Madan Mohan Jha distributed the symbol among the selected candidates to enable them to file their nominations before declaring the list. “It is a rare occurrence. I have not seen anything like this in my 38 years in politics and the Congress party,” he added.

Amid rising discontentment in the party over the distribution of tickets for the upcoming Bihar assembly elections, the Congress had individually called up the candidates selected for the second phase of polls and directed them to file their nomination papers, and not wait for the declaration of the list.

Grand Alliance leaders release the list of candidates at a joint press conference in Patna on Thursday.(PTI Photo)
Grand Alliance leaders release the list of candidates at a joint press conference in Patna on Thursday.(PTI Photo)

Senior Bihar Congress leader Kishore Kumar Jha said state party chief Madan Mohan Jha distributed the symbol among the selected candidates to enable them to file their nominations before declaring the list. “It is a rare occurrence. I have not seen anything like this in my 38 years in politics and the Congress party,” he added.

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The Congress released its second and final list of 49 candidates for the remaining two phases of elections on Thursday night, hours before the nominations closed for the second phase of polling on Friday.

While the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is contesting on 144 seats, the Congress will field candidates on 70 seats. As part of the Grand Alliance or mahagathbandhan, the Left parties are contesting on 29 seats.

Also Read| Self-reliance, farmers to figure in BJP’s Bihar manifesto: Party official

The selected Congress candidates include former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shatrughan Sinha’s son Luv Sinha (constituency Bankipur), rebel Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav’s daughter Subhashini Raj Rao (Bihariganj), Chandan Yadav (Beldaur), Engineer Sanjeev Singh (Vaishali), Praveen Singh Kushwaha (Patna Saheb), Brajesh Pandey (Govindganj) and former Lok Janshakti Party(LJP) general secretary Kali Prasad Pandey (Kuchaikote).

The Congress also fielded Pravesh Kumar Mishra as its candidate for the Lok Sabha by-elections from Valmiki Nagar. The by-poll was necessitated following the death of Janata Dal (United) leader Baidyanath Prasad Mahto in February this year.

Kumar Jha claimed the part had taken the unprecedented step as many “genuine candidates had been denied tickets” earlier, and those involved in the selection of candidates in the Congress apprehended a large-scale backlash. “We are seeing a strange thing happening this time. A candidate from north Bihar has been given a ticket in southern part of the state. No proper criteria had been followed,” he added.

However, the delay in the announcement of candidates for the assembly polls by the Congress was widely attributed to allegations of irregularities in ticket distribution. The vociferous protest over offering tickets to “tainted and incompetent” leaders in the first list prompted former Congress president Rahul Gandhi to step in to cool off the growing displeasure by forming six panels to oversee the party’s preparations for the upcoming polls.

While Randeep Singh Surjewala has been appointed the chairman of the election management and coordination committee, Pawan Khera is heading the media coordination panel.

Bihar Congress president Madan Mohan Jha, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sadanand Singh and Rajya Sabha member Akhilesh Prasad Singh, against whom state leaders had raised a banner of revolt, were kept out of these committees.

Also Read| Bihar Assembly Election 2020: Tejashwi Yadav has more assets, is older than brother Tej Pratap as per affidavit

However, a member of the Congress party’s screening committee, condition of anonymity, said that the delay in announcing the list was not due to fear of a backlash by those who did not get a ticket. “We were planning to release the list of all the 243 candidates of the mahagathbandhan at a joint press conference in Patna on Thursday, but that could not happen due to some unavoidable circumstances,” he added. He did not mention any specifics.

In the first phase of the polls, 71 constituencies in 16 districts will go hold elections on October 28.

In the second phase, polling will be held in 94 constituencies on November 3, while 78 seats will go to polls in the third and final phase on November 7. The results will be declared on November 10.

The Congress is contesting on 21 seats in the first phase, 24 in the second phase, and 25 in the third phase.

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