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Seat pact row, letter to Sonia

Patna, March 8: The internal fight in the state unit of the Congress over the seats offered to it by the RJD is coming to the fore even as the high command today put its seal on the names of candidates.

In Delhi, the Congress released the list for 194 parliamentary seats. Besides Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Nandan Nilekani, Mohammad Kaif and Ravi Kissen also found place in the list.The party also released the names for seats in Bihar.

On the other hand, former Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) president Choudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser on Saturday said he had written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi expressing his reservations over the seat-sharing pact with the RJD.

Kaiser charged Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ashok Choudhary of selling the party to the RJD.

“It is a complete sellout. We (party) have got seats where the party polled just 20,000 to 25,000 votes while seats where Congress candidates polled over a lakh votes went to the RJD’s kitty,” Kaiser said.

This is certainly not the way to run the party, he said, adding that there are “serious issues” that need to be addressed. A source in the Congress said Kaiser was eyeing the Khagaria Lok Sabha seat but it fell into the RJD’s kitty, leaving Kaiser fuming.

After his conviction in one of the fodder scam cases, a desperate Lalu Prasad stitched up the alliance with the Congress on March 5. Under the seat-sharing arrangement, Lalu’s party would field its candidates in 27 seats while leaving 12 seats for the Congress and one for the Nationalist Congress Party.

The Congress does not have formidable candidates to give a fight in four or five of the 12 seats the RJD has left it, Congress party sources said.

the list

The Congress today cleared names of 10 candidates out of 12 seats that it got from the RJD according to the seat-sharing pact

Meira Kumar (Sasaram)
Nikhil Kumar (Aurangabad)
lRaj Kumar Rajan (Patna Sahib)
Md Asrarul Haque (Kishanganj)
Akhilesh Prasad Singh (Muzaffarpur)
Ranjita Ranjan (Supaul)
Dilip Manjhi (Gopalganj)
Amarnath Tiwari (Purnea)
Ashok Ram (Samastipur)
Pratibha Kumari (Hajipur)

*The names for two parliamentary constituencies, Valmikinagar and Nalanda, have been kept pending but would be announced later