Patna, April 3: The Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee on Thursday announced candidates for three of the five Assembly seats where by-elections would be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls.
The BJP has fielded candidates in all five seats, giving two tickets to Muslims.
The by-elections are taking place in Baisi, Chiraiya, Sahebpul Kamal, Kochadhaman and Maharajganj seats. BPCC vice-president Prem Chandra Mishra said the party has cleared the names of Mohammad Sadique Samdani from Kochadhaman, Mohammad Nasaar Ahmad from Baisi and Manoj Kumar Singh from Chiraiya Assembly segment.
Asked why the party fielded candidates in just three seats, Mishra said these candidates, though losers, had polled handsome votes in the 2010 Assembly polls. “The RJD, if wisdom prevails, should withdraw its candidates to avert division of votes,” he said. The RJD has fielded candidates in Baisi and Kochadhaman. On why the party did not enter into an alliance with the RJD, Mishra said: “Our alliance was confined to Lok Sabha.”
The BJP has fielded Abdur Rehman from Kochadhanman and Shamim Akthar from Baisi. State BJP chief Mangal Pandey said: “Out of five candidates, there are two Muslim faces, which is around 40 per cent of the total candidates.”
Deonarayan Singh is the party candidate from Maharajganj, Aman Kumar Singh from Sahebpur Kamal and Lal Babu Prasad Gupta from Chiraiya. The ruling JD(U) has announced candidates from all five seats.
The Maharajganj seat fell vacant after its MLA Damodar Singh died while the four other seats fell vacant after the MLAs switched loyalties to contest Lok Sabha polls. Baisi’s earlier BJP MLA Santosh Kumar is contesting from Purnea on a JD(U) ticket. Chiraiya’s earlier BJP MLA Awanish Singh is contesting the Purbi Champaran seat on a JD(U) ticket. Sahebpul Kamal’s earlier JD(U) MLA Parveen Amanullah is contesting the Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat on an AAP ticket and Kochadhaman’s earlier RJD MLA Akhtarul Iman is contesting from the Kishanganj Lok Sabha seat on a JD(U) ticket.