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Congress spoils fourth front party in Bihar

Source: PTI
May 17, 2009 21:04 IST
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The Congress may not have the numbers to show off from Bihar, but it seems to have spoiled the party of its estranged allies Rashtriya Janata Dal and Lok Janshakti Party in as many as 12 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The Congress, which decided to go without the crutches, contested 37 of Bihar's 40 seats and emerged victorious in just two. But, it ate into the votes of RJD and LJP in at least a dozen constituencies.

The RJD and LJP, which had joined hands with Samajwadi Party to float a Fourth Front, could have won these 12 seats, including Madhubani, Banka and Karakat, if the Congress had not been in the fray. The Madhubani seat was won by Bharatiya Janata Party's Hukumdeo Narain Yadav, a former union minister, by a margin of 9,927 votes defeating state RJD president Abdul Bari Siddiqui. While Yadav polled 1,62,192 votes, Siddiqui got 1,52,265. Union minister of State for Home and sitting Congress MP Shakeel Ahmed finished third with 1,11,423 votes, which if coupled with RJD's 1,52,265, would have seen Siddiqui sail through easily.

Similarly, Union minister of state for Tourism and sitting RJD MP Kanti Singh lost the Karakat seat by 20,483 votes to Mahabali Singh of Janata Dal-United. Congress candidate Avadhesh Kumar Singh secured 71,058 votes, enough to get Kanti Singh elected. In Banka, where JD-U rebel and former Union minister Digvijay Singh emerged victorious defeating Union minister of state for Water Resource Development an RJD candidate Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav by 28,716 votes.

Giridhari Yadav, sitting RJD MP, who switched over to the Congress after denial of ticket, fetched 44,588 votes. Five-term MP Devendra Prasad Yadav of RJD fell by the wayside by over 72,000 votes against JD-U's Mangnilal Mandal in Jhanjharpur where Congress nominee Kripanath Pathak garnered over 86,000 votes.

In Sitamarhi, JD-U's Arjun Rai emerged triumphant beating Congress' Samir Kumar Mahaseth by 1,10,566 votes. RJD's sitting MP Sitaram Yadav finished third with 1,18,798 votes, which if coupled with the votes fetched by the Congress nominee, would have seen a UPA candidate through.

The West Champaran seat, which BJP's Sanjay Jaiswal won by a margin of 47,313 votes defeating film director Prakash Jha of LJP, could have gone to the fourth front had Sadhu Yadav, Congress nominee and RJD president Lalu Prasad's estranged brother-in-law, who got 70,001 votes, not been in the fray.

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