PATNA: Firebrand BJP leader and Union minister Giriraj Singh on Monday apparently went into a sulk after being denied a seat from Nawada Lok Sabha seat, which has gone to NDA ally LJP this time.
On Sunday, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) announced the seats to be contested by its three constituents — the BJP, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party.
While the BJP and the JD(U) will contest 17 seats each, the LJP will field candidates from six seats.
“Compulsions of seat-sharing may be there. But I wish to underscore that no other Union minister from Bihar may have to give up his sitting seat. This is despite the fact that I have worked so much to nurture my constituency,” the veteran BJP leader said.
Asked whether he had expressed his wish to seek re-election from Nawada to state BJP president Nityanand Rai, Singh said, “I must have done so 200 times.”
“Five years is a long time and I have become attached to Nawada and its people. Rai had assured me that I would get a ticket from wherever I wanted. Why this (denial of the ticket) happened is for him to answer,” Singh said.
On reports that he might be asked to contest from Begusarai, the seat which he had wanted to fight in 2014, Singh replied with a hint of bitterness, “I was a party worker, am a party worker and shall always remain a party worker.”
Besides Giriraj Singh, the other Union ministers in the fray from Bihar are Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Buxar), R K Singh (Ara), Ram Kripal Yadav (Pataliputra) and Radha Mohan Singh (Motihari). All these seats have been retained by the BJP and the sitting MPs may be fielded again from their respective seats.
In the last general election, Giriraj Singh had initially expressed the wish to contest from Begusarai, which is dominated by the Bhumihar caste to which he belongs.
But the seat then went to Bhola Singh, a party-hopper who had been previously associated with the Communist Party of India, Congress and the Janata Dal. Giriraj was given a ticket from Nawada, a less safe seat given its social profile, which he won riding the Modi wave in 2014.
Chirag takes a dig
LJP leader Chirag Paswan said all NDA allies in Bihar may name their Lok Sabha poll candidates together and also took a dig at the opposition, saying its “so-called grand alliance has turned out to be an illusion”.
Paswan is set to contest from Jamui.