Patna, March 18: Three out of 10 Congress candidates managed to get Lok Sabha election tickets in spite of their names not figuring in the list of panels prepared by the party’s selection committees.
The three — Dilip Manjhi, Pratima Devi and Raj Kumar Rajan — would contest from Gopalganj, Hajipur, Patna Sahib, respectively.
As per the seat sharing arrangement, the Congress got 12 seats while its allies the RJD and the NCP would field candidates in 27 and one seats, respectively. Of 12 seats, the Congress has announced the names of 10 candidates except for Valmiki Nagar and Nalanda Lok Sabha constituencies.
“There is a gross violation of procedure for selecting the candidates. Their names did not find place on the list of panel prepared by the district Congress committees, pradesh Congress committee’s election committee or screening committee,” said a senior party leader on condition of anonymity.
Party sources said even former Union minister Akhilesh Prasad Singh’s name was not there in the panel of names prepared either by the district or state committees for Muzaffarpur. He was selected for East Champaran (Motihari) but finally managed a ticket from Muzaffarpur.
The sources said the distribution of tickets in such an arbitrary fashion, especially after getting a poor deal from the RJD vis-à-vis seat-sharing arrangement, has led to discontent and displeasure among the party’s rank and file.
“The RJD left seats such as Valmiki Nagar, Gopalganj, Hajipur, Nalanda where Congress polled between 14,000 and 26,000 votes and the seats on which the party got more than a lakh votes such as Sitamarhi, Khagaria, Madhubani went into Lalu Prasad’s party kitty. Now, the party’s decision to field such candidates from three constituencies left workers and ticket aspirants completely perplexed and bewildered,” a senior party leader said wishing anonymity.