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Union minister rebels, refuses to contest poll

March 25, 2019 15:30 IST

'Giriraj Singh has told the central leadership that he is being made a target by some BJP leaders and some JD-U in a conspiracy to defeat him in the polls.'
M I Khan reports from Patna.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union Minister Giriraj Singh has refused to contest the Lok Sabha election in protest after Nawada -- the seat he won in the 2014 election -- was given to the Lok Janshakti Party under the seat-sharing formula finalised by the National Democratic Alliance in Bihar.

According to BJP leaders, Singh has informed party leaders in New Delhi that he will not contest the Lok Sabha election from Begusarai.

The BJP had given Nawada to the LJP, alloting Begusarai to Giriraj Singh instead.

"Singh has told the central leadership that he is being made a target by some BJP leaders and some JD-U (Janata Dal-United) leaders in a conspiracy to defeat him in the polls," a senior BJP leader said in Patna on Monday, March 25.

"As per their design, they have managed to shift his seat from Nawada to Begusarai," the BJP leader added.

Last week, Singh expressed unhappiness over the change of his Lok Sabha seat to the BJP central leadership.

 

"Giriraj conveyed his unhappiness to the central leadership over the way his seat Nawada was given to the LJP," a BJP leader close to the minister said, adding, "He also questioned why he is the only Union minister whose seat was given to an ally to contest the election."

However, Bihar BJP leaders state that the Union minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises will contest the election from Begusarai.

"Party leaders are trying to convince him to contest from Begusarai. We are hopeful he will abide by the party decision," a BJP leader said.

Meanwhile, former Jawaharlal Nehru University students union president Kanhaiya Kumar will contest the Lok Sabha election from Begusarai on a Communist Party of India ticket.

"My fight is to defeat the communal and fascist forces in the country. I am confident and sure that the people of Begusarai will support and vote for me," Kanhaiya said, when asked about his likely electoral battle with Giriraj Singh.

If Giriraj Singh agrees to contest the election from Begusarai, it will make for an interesting contest. Singh, known for his controversial statements, belongs to the powerful Bhumihar caste.

Interestingly, Kanhaiya is also a Bhumihar.

Nawada -- which has a sizeable population of Bhumihars -- was considered a safe seat for Giriraj Singh against the backdrop of Bihar's caste-ridden politics.

M I Khan in Patna
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