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Dal MP stubborn on base shift

Patna, March 11: Rebellion escalated in the ruling JD(U) ahead of the party officially announcing its candidates for the Lok Sabha polls with the Begusarai MP, Monazir Hasan, refusing the “offer” to shift to Bhagalpur today.

It proved to be a day of double blow for the JD(U) leadership as the acceptance of resignation from the industries minister, Renu Kushwaha, coincided with Monazir spurning the party’s decision to field him from the crucial Bhagalpur seat.

“I was asked to shift to Bhagalpur at the eleventh hour. It is not worthwhile for me to shift to a new constituency unprepared,” Monazir said, adding: “I have already communicated my decision to party president Sharad Yadav.”

He said he would not contest any seat other than Begusarai. Monazir won it twice in 2004 and 2009.

Sources said Monazir was expecting his induction in Nitish Kumar’s ministry today as a “compensation” for stripping him from the Begusarai seat, which is learnt to have fallen in the share of the CPI contesting the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the JD(U).

It is so far not known which way Monazir will go. That he is hardly known to keep quiet became evident when he had fielded his wife on the RJD ticket from Munger during the 2010 Assembly elections, inviting Nitish Kumar’s anger at that stage.

Renu is believed to have rebelled against the JD(U) reportedly indicating that it might field an RJD renegade and Parvatta MLA, Samrat Choudhary, from the Khagaria Lok Sabha seat, which she had won as the Samata Party candidate in 2009. Her husband, Vijay Kumar Kushwaha yesterday joined the BJP and was “assured” of the saffron party ticket. The grapevine has it that Renu, too, might join the newfound outfit of her husband.

That the rebellion has gripped the JD(U) as much as other parties also became evident when Nitish’s three ministers — Narendra Singh, Gautam Singh and Narendra Narayan Yadav — remained absent from the swearing ceremony of Lesi Singh at the Raj Bhavan. Narendra Singh has already criticised the chief minister for allotting ticket to party “hoppers” at the expense of the loyalists.

Sharad Yadav, who arrived here today in connection with finalising the JD(U)’s list of candidates, played down the rebellion in the party. “I will speak to the leaders aggrieved with the party,” Sharad said, adding: “A few leaders leave the party during the poll season.”

Sharad, while announcing that he would contest from the Madhepura seat again this time, said the party’s list of the candidates would be announced ahead of the Holi.

Sources in the JD(U) said the party leadership more or less had finalised the list, which could be made public anytime from tomorrow. Sharad was reported to have been holding parleys with Nitish Kumar on the issue of the party’s candidates for the Lok Sabha at the time of filing this report.


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