Four JD-U legislators keen to fight Lok Sabha polls
Four Bihar legislators, including a minister, have threatened to contest the Lok Sabha polls either as independents or from another grouping if they are not given JD-U tickets, party sources and the disgruntled leaders say.
Ahead of polls, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is facing a rebellion from legislators Poonam Devi Yadav, Devesh Chandra Thakur and Mahachander Singh, as also Ramai Ram, who is a cabinet minister.
All of them want an assurance from the party to contest the Lok Sabha polls and threatened to go against the JD-U if denied its candidature.
It all started early this week when it was made known that Poonam Yadav would contest from the Khagaria Lok Sabha constituency.
"She will be a candidate from Khagaria Lok Sabha seat whether as an independent or from other party, if JD-U will not allow her to contest again," her convicted husband and former legislator Ranbir Yadav said. He was convicted in the Lakhmipur Taufir carnage of 1985 in which nine people were killed and is currently out on bail.
Yadav, known as a muscleman, accused party chief Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar of backtracking from the promise of fielding his wife from Khagaria Lok Sabha seat in last Lok Sabha polls in 2009.
Yadav hit the headlines in 2012 when Nitish Kumar's convoy was attacked by a mob in Khagaria and he had come to his rescue. Yadav reportedly snatched a policeman's carbine and brandished it menacingly to scare off protestors.
Thakur, a senior party leader, too threatened to quit JD-U if he was not allowed to contest the Lok Sabha polls, the sources said.
Thakur, who was considered a close aide of Nitish Kumar and media face of the party, is keen to contest parliamentary polls from Sitamarhi constituency.
But the party has told him this was not possible as it has decided to field former Rajya Sabha MP Shabir Ali from the constituency.
Mahachander Singh Singh has also expressed his desire to contest from Munger Lok Sabha constituency.
"I have decided to contest Lok Sabha polls. It all depends on the party to give me ticket or force me to take another decision," he said.
Munger is represented by JD-U's powerful leader Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalal Singh, who is Nitish Kumar's close friend for over two decades.
Ramai Ram, Bihar minister of revenue and land reform, has also announced that he will contest from Hajipur Lok Sabha constituency.
"I will explore for any other option, in case the party will not field me from Hajipur," he said.
According to party leaders, some more JD-U leaders, including legislators and former MPs, may revolt if denied a party ticket for the Lok Sabha polls.
After the JD-U ended its 17-year-old alliance with the BJP last year, the party is set to contest Lok Sabha polls either alone or in alliance with the Left parties in Bihar.
(Posted on 15-02-2014)