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Congress ‘delay’ in declaring candidates from Bihar leaves ticket hopefuls in despair

There is also simmering resentment among long-time leaders and workers as potential turncoats from other parties make a beeline to the Congress’s offices in Patna and Delhi for poll tickets. There could be a revolt if the 'outsiders' succeed, sources said

Dev Raj Patna Published 15.04.24, 06:40 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

The Congress’s failure to declare candidates yet for six of the nine seats it is contesting from Bihar has hamstrung its campaign and left many of its leaders, ticket hopefuls and supporters in despair.

There is also simmering resentment among long-time leaders and workers as potential turncoats from other parties make a beeline to the Congress’s offices in Patna and Delhi for poll tickets. There could be a revolt if the “outsiders” succeed, sources said.

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The Congress is contesting the Kishanganj, Katihar, Bhagalpur, Samastipur, Muzaffarpur, West Champaran, Maharajganj, Patna and Sasaram seats as part of the INDIA coalition.

Around two weeks ago, the party announced Mohammad Jawaid, former Union minister Tariq Anwar, and Ajeet Sharma as candidates for the Kishanganj, Katihar and Bhagalpur constituencies that vote on April 26. Since then, there has been silence on the other seats.

“The situation is not good. It is damaging the morale of our party workers,” a senior Congress leader told The Telegraph on the condition of anonymity.

“They were more than willing to put their heart and soul into the campaign, but are feeling hopeless because there are no candidates to fight for.”

He underlined that almost all the other parties had declared their Bihar candidates.

“Everybody can see what is happening here. Politicians from other parties are trying to grab the tickets. It will be a sad day if that happens, and it will weaken our party further in the state,” the Congress leader added.

However, the party’s official stand is that the perceived delay is actually a “poll strategy”.

“There is no delay. Our high command has decided to announce the candidates in a phase-wise manner for an election that is being held in seven phases. It’s part of our party’s poll strategy,” Bihar Congress spokesperson Harkhu Jha told this newspaper.

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