The wishes of RJD president Lalu Yadav seem to be prevailing over his alliance, if the initial list of party candidates is any indication.
Lalu seems to have prevailed over both the Janata Dal United and the Congress leadership in the selection of candidates for the Assembly elections.
This became evident after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar succumbed to the wishes of Lalu Yadav to accommodate the RJD president’s youngest son Tejashwi in Mahuva constituency. In order to accommodate the RJD scion, Nitish Kumar had to deny a ticket to his own party leader Satish Kumar, even though the latter is the sitting MLA from that constituency.
Similarly, Abhiram Sharam, who is the sitting JDU MLA from Jahanabad, and Purnima Yadav, who is the sitting JDU MLA from Nawada, were denied tickets from their respective constituencies. Both of these seats have gone to RJD candidates.
There are at least 12 sitting JDU MLAs who have been denied tickets from their own constituencies because of Lalu’s keenness to have those seats allotted to his own candidates.
Lalu Yadav also seems to have prevailed over the Congress leadership as far as the selection of candidates is concerned.
The Congress, which has been given 40 out of the 243 seats in the Bihar Assembly, in the three-party Grand Alliance, apparently did not object to the fact that Lalu Yadav had the last word in selecting their candidates.
Former Congress minister, the late Rajo Singh’s grandson Sudershan was given a ticket from Barbigha on the Congress symbol in place of Munna Shahi, the JDU sitting legislator.
Sudershan had filed a criminal case against the present Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Chaudhary, accusing him of murdering his grand-father.
Former Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramjatan Sinha wanted to contest from Jehanabad or Arwal, but he was persuaded by Lalu Yadav to contest from Patna, where all the four Assembly seats had been won by the BJP for the last two decades.
Lalu Yadav has denied renomination to his sitting MLA, Bhai Dinesh from Jagdishpur, alleging he is a supporter of Pappu Yadav, who left the RJD to form his own party.
Bhai Dinesh is currently sitting on a dharna outside Lalu’s 10, Circular Road residence, seeking “justice”.
In the NDA, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan has managed to get for his party at least two seats that BJP’s local leaders wanted. From Kusheswarsthan constituency, a prominent national dalit BJP leader had staked his claim and he was also promised that he would be given the ticket but the seat finally went to the LJP.
Bharatiya Janata Party workers were disappointed after the Kalyanpur (SC) seat, which they had hoped will be contested by a BJP candidate, went to the LJP’s kitty since the LJP was adamant about that seat. In the 2010 elections, the LJP candidate had lost the seat by over 30,000 votes to the JDU candidate.