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Minister asks ‘ambitious’ son to behave

- State youth Congress president eyes Giridih, sparks fear of last-minute spat with JMM

Ranchi, March 23: The “fond ambition” of State Youth Congress president Jai Mangal Singh, alias Anup Singh, to contest the Giridih seat may trigger a last-minute showdown between the Congress and the JMM.

Anup (29), son of state minister and Congress heavyweight Rajendra Prasad Singh, has purchased nomination papers from Giridih even though the Congress has practically agreed to leave the seat for its ally JMM.

JMM nominee Jagannath Mahto has already filed his nomination papers.

The last day of filing nomination papers is March 26.

Though father Rajendra Prasad has snubbed Anup’s move, distancing himself from his son’s misadventure, the youth Congress leader seemed adamant.

Anup insisted he bought nomination papers only after receiving a “positive signal” from the central leadership on his candidature from the seat.

“I am waiting for the central leadership’s instructions. But in no case, I will contest as an Independent. Congress workers are upset here the way the JMM made an unilateral announcement to field its own candidate,” he said.

His father, however, asked him to “behave”. “I am a die-hard party loyalist and none from my family will contest the elections without prior permission of the central or the state leadership. In no case will he (Anup) be given the Congress ticket because according to the agreement, the party will support the JMM candidate. I don’t think he would contest as an Independent. He holds an important position in the party and he should behave properly.” Rajendra Prasad told The Telegraph over telephone.

Too bad, the 29-year-old leader had long been eyeing the Giridih seat to make an electoral debut. He had also managed the nomination from the Youth Congress quota.

If Congress sources are to be believed, Anup wanted the party to keep Giridih in exchange of Rajmahal.

In fact, the Congress, during initial seat-sharing negotiation with the JMM, had insisted on keeping Giridih in lieu of Rajmahal in an apparent bid to accommodate Anup. It had offered Koderma instead.

But, the JMM foiled the plan. It accepted Rajmahal, but declared its own candidate from the Giridih seat against the Congress’s wish.

Though the Congress central leadership ultimately accepted the JMM’s demand because it did not want to break ties for one seat, Anup could not digest this development and threatened that no youth Congress worker would campaign for the JMM in Rajmahal and Giridih.

But Congress sources said Anup would have to budge from his stand.

Right now, the party could not afford risking the alliance to please Anup.

“What else can be said about this young man (Anup) who even doesn’t listen to the advice of his father? There is meagre chance of him getting any ticket now even if he is the son of a senior party leader. The central leadership has not taken it very well,” a senior party leader said.

State Congress president Sukhdeo Bhagat, who initially did lobby for Anup, played it safe when asked for comments.

“I believe he would not contest. The central leadership is the final authority to decide on Congress candidates,” he said.


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