Patna: The Grand Alliance in Bihar on Friday announced the formal allocation of 31 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state. It also announced the names of the candidates for most of the seats.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, speaking at a joint conference here, also announced the names of the candidates for 18 of the 19 seats the RJD is contesting under the seat-sharing deal.
The RJD has fielded former JD-U president and Loktantrik Janata Dal founder Sharad Yadav from Madhepura seat, senior party leader and former Union Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh from Vaishali seat and senior leader and former Minister Jagdanand Singh from Buxar seat. Jagdanand Singh will contest against BJP leader and Union Minister Ashwani Choubey.
Tejashwi Yadav said that the party has fielded senior leader and former Minister Abdul Bari Suddiqui from the Darbhanga seat. The state Congress leaders have expressed displeasure as the party had staked claim to the Darbhanga seat and wanted to field Kirti Jha Azad, former BJP MP, who joined the Congress recently.
The RJD has fielded senior party leader Tanweer Hasan from Begusarai. Hasan will contest against BJP firebrand leader and Union Minister Giriraj Singh and CPI candidate Kanhaiya Kumar, former JNUSU president.
According to Tejashwi Yadav, the RJD has fielded Heena Sahab, wife of jailed former MP Mohammad Shahabuddin, a criminal-turned-politician, from the Siwan seat and RJD chief Lalu Prasad's elder daughter Misa Bharti from Patliputra that she unsuccessfully contested in 2014.
The party has fielded Lalu Prasad's elder son Tej Pratap's father-in-law Chandrika Rai from Saran.
Tejashwi Yadav also named the candidates for the three seats that the Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP) is contesting. The seats are Madhubani, Khagaria and Muzaffarpur. VIP chief Mukesh Shahni, popularly known as the son of Mallah, is contesting from the Khagaria seat.
The Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) has already announced its three candidates. HAM chief and former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi is contesting from Gaya.
Tejashwi Yadav said that the Congress and the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RSLP) will announce their remaining candidates soon. RLSP chief and former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha is set to contest from the Karakat seat.
As per the agreement reached by the Grand Alliance, the RJD will contest 19 of the 40 seats in Bihar, the Congress nine while smaller parties have been given the remaining seats.
The Congress has fielded its sitting MP Ranjeet Ranjan from Supaul. She is the wife of expelled RJD leader and founder of the Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik) JAP (L) Pappu Yadav, who is a criminal-turned-politician.
The Congress has fielded former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar from the Sasaram seat.