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Misa sniffs rumour plot on repoll day

Patna, April 21: Locked in a tight battle with “chacha” Ram Kripal Yadav in the Pataliputra Lok Sabha seat, Misa Bharti today accused her BJP challenger of spreading rumours that she would also contest from East Champaran.

Misa, the RJD candidate, claimed that BJP nominee Ram Kripal — once a trusted lieutenant of her father Lalu Prasad — had spread the rumour on the day of repolling in 13 booths of Pataliputra to queer her pitch.

Misa said the buzz about her candidature from another constituency could trigger confusion among the electorate and hit her hard in a close contest given the fact that over 10,000 voters were expected to re-cast votes.

“BJP leader Ram Kripal Yadav is spreading the rumour that I shall contest from East Champaran as well. He is going door-to-door and telling voters that they should cast their vote for him because I shall not be in Pataliputra. The rumour can have a huge impact on the poll outcome. It is a big conspiracy by the BJP leader,” Misa told The Telegraph.

East Champaran would go to the polls on May 12. The last date for filing nomination is April 24.

Binod Kumar Srivastava, who is supposed to contest from East Champaran on the RJD ticket, told The Telegraph over phone that he too had heard about the rumour. “But I shall file my nomination papers tomorrow (Tuesday) and senior RJD leaders would accompany me,” he said.

The Pataliputra seat is being considered as the biggest challenge of Lalu this Lok Sabha polls after Saran, from where his wife and former chief minister Rabri Devi is contesting against Rajiv Pratap Rudy of the BJP. For the RJD chief, it is a prestige fight against Ram Kripal — once his close aide whom Misa fondly addressed as chacha.

Lalu addressed at least 25 rallies in Pataliputra and did not mind to touch the feet of the father of a notorious gangster, requesting him to persuade his son not to contest the election from the Pataliputra constituency.

With her father’s prestige at stake, Misa is keen to clinch the Pataliputra seat. She was visibly upset on repolling day over the rumour allegedly spread by Ram Kripal.

“I am shocked. What kind of tactics people use to win the election? They should indulge in constructive politics,” said Misa.

Ram Kripal, on the other hand, appeared nonchalant. When his attention was drawn towards the allegation levelled on him by his RJD challenger, he simply said: “Rubbish.”

Ram Kripal said: “Such allegations do give credence to the fact that Misa is shaky about her performance and Lalu’s efforts have failed to catch the imagination of the people who have voted for a brighter future of the country. People showed their love on April 17 and they did the same on the day of repolling.”

Repolling in 13 booths of Pataliputra and 12 in Munger went off peacefully with an average turnout of 52.75 per cent. Additional chief electoral officer R. Laxmanan said: “Repolling was held in 25 booths in the two constituencies on the recommendations of the presiding officers and the poll observers. The commission has so far not received any complaint of disturbance from the booths where re-polling was conducted.”