The Bihar Post

Bihar by-polls turn intriguing as opposition parties fight among themselves


PATNA—The by-elections to two assembly seats in Bihar have turned quite intriguing with the opposition parties fighting among themselves instead of taking on the ruling NDA candidates.

However, what has taken everyone by surprise is the complete U-turn shown by Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) chief Pappy Yadav who was released from jail on Monday after being acquitted in a three decade-old kidnapping case.

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Soon after coming out of jail, Yadav heaped praises on the Congress and announced to work for the victory of the Congress candidates in the elections. He even declared to support any drive of the Rahul Gandhi to strengthen the organization structure in the state.

Within hours of lending his full support to the Congress, Yadav in a new twist has fielded his candidate from Kusheshwar Sthan seat.

Not only that, Yadav even asked the Congress to reconsider its decision to contest from the Tarapur seat while announcing that his  party would field candidate from this seat if the Congress didn’t withdraw its nominee by Thursday.

“The party’s parliamentary party has selected its candidates for both the seats. We urge the Congress to support our candidates,” state JAP president Raghvendra Kushwaha told newsmen on Wednesday.

According to him, a meeting of JAP parliamentary party held on Wednesday has decided to fight the elections on its own without entering into an alliance with any party.

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Prior to him, the principal opposition, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) acted unpredictably by unilaterally fielding its candidates from both the seats which had fallen vacant due to death of the candidates. Both the seats were held by the ruling JD-U.

While there were no conflicts within the NDA over the selection of candidates, the opposition has shown undue haste in fielding its candidates.

The Congress has accused the RJD of breaking the coalition dharma by unilaterally announcing its candidates from both the seats but the RJD claimed it had communicated the matter to the former.

The current situation is such that both the RJD and the Congress have fielded their separate candidates from the two seats. The split in the opposition camp has obviously brightened the prospects of the ruling party but the RJD claims their candidates will emerge victorious from both the seats.

Reports said the RJD is angry with the Congress for its disastrous performance in the last assembly polls which prevented the RJD-led Grand Alliance from coming to power.

The Congress was able to win only 19 seats despite contesting 70 seats whereas the RJD and the Left put up splendid performance.

The RJD had won 75 seats after contesting 144 seats whereas the Left parties clinched victory on 16 seats after fielding candidates on 29 seats.

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