Virtually ending its alliance with Congress in Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad on Monday announced candidates for 28 of the 40 constituencies in the state including from the three seats where Congress has sitting MPs.
The RJD chief released the list of candidates in Patna but left without taking any questions.The RJD had initially stitched an alliance with Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP under which Prasad's party was to contest 25 of Bihar's 40 seats while LJP 12. The rest of the three seats were left for Congress.
However, after the Congress rejected the offer and resolved to contest 37 seats on its own sparing the two seats, Saran and Pataliputra, for its two allies, Lalu fielded his party's candidates even in the three seats won by the Congress in the previous Lok Sabha polls. Lalu is trying his luck from Saran while LJP supremo is contesting from Pataliputra.
Similarly, state RJD president Abdul Bari Siddiqui would be contesting against Union Minister of State for Home and Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed in Madhubani. RJD's spokesman and MLA Shakeel Ahmed Khan would cross swords with sitting Congress MP and retired Indian Police Service officer Nikhil Kumar from Aurangabad, Prasad added.
Prasad released the list of candidates for 25 out of 28 seats the RJD would be contesting, keeping pending declaration of candidates for Maharajganj, Patna Sahib and Madhepura. The RJD's list includes Union Ministers Taslimuddin from Kishanganj, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh from Vaishali, Akhlesh Prasad Singh from East Champaran, Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav from Banka, Kanti Singh from Karakat, Raghunath Jha from Valmikinagar and M A A Fatmi from Darbhanga. Other sitting RJD Lok Sabha members whose names figured in the list of candidates include Sitaram Singh from Sheohar, Sitaram Singh from Sitamarhi, Devendra Prasad Yadav from Jhanjharpur, Alok Kumar Mehta from Ujiarpur, R K Rana from Khagaria, Ramjee Manjhi fromGaya. Significantly, Hina Shahab, wife of controversial RJD leader Mohammed Shahabuddin, facing life imprisonment in some criminal cases, was allotted a party ticket from Siwan.