Luv Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha’s son, in Congress’ final list for Bihar polls - Hindustan Times
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Luv Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha’s son, in Congress’ final list for Bihar polls

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Oct 15, 2020 09:43 PM IST

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.

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

File photo of actor Luv Sinha. (Photo @LuvSinha)
File photo of actor Luv Sinha. (Photo @LuvSinha)

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. “It is a rare occasion. I have not seen 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 on 70. As part of the “Mahagathbandhan” or grand alliance, the left parties are contesting on 29 seats.

Jha claimed this has been done because many genuine candidates had been denied tickets and those involved in selection of candidates in the Congress apprehended large-scale backlash.

“We are seeing a strange thing happening this time. A candidate from north Bihar has been given a ticket in the southern part of the state. No proper criteria had been followed,” he added.

Among those selected include former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shatrughan Sinha’s son Luv Sinha (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 general secretary Kali Prasad Pandey from Kuchaikote.

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

But 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 douse the fire by forming six panels to oversee the party’s preparations for the upcoming polls.

While Randeep Singh Surjewala 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.

However, a member of the Congress party’s screening committee said on the condition of anonymity that the delay in announcing the list was not due to fears of backlash by those denied tickets.

“We were planning to release the list of all the 243 candidates of Mahagathbandhan at a joint press conference in Patna on Thursday but that could not happen due to some unavoidable circumstances,” he added.

Seventy one constituencies in 16 districts will go to polls in the first phase on October 28. Most of these constituencies fall in Left Wing Extremism affected districts.

In the second phase on November 3, polling will be held in 94 constituencies, 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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