The Congress Thursday hastily changed its sole candidate for the Bihar Legislative Council polls, replacing Tariq Anwar with Samir Singh, after realising that the original nominee was not a voter in the state.
Anwar, a multiple-term parliamentarian, whose name was approved in a surprise move by the AICC headquarters late Wednesday night, flew down to the state capital this morning for filing his nomination papers.
Thursday was the last date for filing nomination for the July 6 biennial elections to nine Bihar Legislative Council seats.
Anwar met AICC national secretary in-charge of the state, Ajay Kapoor, and top Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee leaders at the residence of CLP leader Sadanand Singh, where they realised that one must have his name in the state's voters' list for contesting elections to either House of the state legislature.
Anwar, who has been elected to the Lok Sabha from Katihar in the state, is a voter in Delhi.
"In view of the circumstances that have arisen, we have unanimously chosen Samir Singh as our candidate," Kapoor told reporters.
Anwar, who lost his seat in the general elections last year, said, "It is not at all a disappointment. I never had an inkling that I would be asked to enter the fray but when the high command issued a direction, I complied as a disciplined soldier.
"For long I have been a member of the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha and for getting elected to Parliament from anywhere you simply have to be a voter anywhere in the country. But when it comes to the bicameral legislature in the state, your name should be in the electoral roll here," Anwar said.
Later, Samir Singh, one of the working presidents of the party's state unit, reached the Vidhan Sabha secretariat and filed his nomination papers, with less than an hour left for the process to close.