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Rumblings in Gathbandhan, Denial of Tickets to Veterans Dulls Poll Mood for Congress in Bihar

Absence of grand alliance leaders from Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's visits to Bihar has exposed the fissures within the gathbandhan.

Pankaj Kumar | News18

Updated:April 26, 2019, 9:30 AM IST
Rumblings in Gathbandhan, Denial of Tickets to Veterans Dulls Poll Mood for Congress in Bihar
Picture for representation.

Patna: As the campaign for the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections is on in full swing, silence seems to have enveloped the Congress in Bihar.

Despite Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s five visits to the state, the party's campaign hasn’t gained momentum. None of the grand alliance leaders were present at the meetings, exposing the fissures among the alliance partners in Bihar.

Gandhi visited Gaya, Purnea, Katihar and Supaul sharing the dais with local MPs, MLAs. However, neither Tejashvi Yadav nor Ramchandra Poorve accompanied him.

Ticket denial to senior leaders like Lovely Anand, Meera Kumar and Nikhil Kumar has also miffed the party cadres, keeping the poll mood dull for the Congress here.

“There are conflicts over constituencies like Saupal and Madhubani which has made things murkier. The senior leaders not visiting the state for campaigns in the state is also not sending a good message among the party cadres,” an office bearer of the Congress said, wishing anonymity.

The conflict in the alliance was evident in Supaul that went for poll in third phase on April 23. Ranjeet Ranjan from the Congress faced competition from independent contestant Dinesh Prasad Yadav who is backed by local RJD leaders.

In Madhubani, senior Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad resigned as the spokesperson and filed his nomination against the grand alliance.

Political experts believe that infighting in the alliance is hampering the prospect of its success.

Though leaders like Shatrughan Sinha, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Nagma have campaigned in Bihar, leaders like Priyanka Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Sindhiya, Gulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge not campaigning in Bihar has demoralised the cadres. The Congress candidates had demanded that Priyanka Gandhi be called in for campaigning in Bihar.

The Congress has been allotted nine seats under the seat-sharing deal in Bihar.

“We were hopeful that the party would contest elections with zeal, particularly after the rally on February 3. But nothing seems to be working according to Rahul Gandhi’s message,” said former MP and senior leader Lovely Anand.

The chief of Bihar unit of Congress Madan Mohan Jha refuted the allegations and said that Gandhi visited Bihar five times and the alliance is strong. “Our alliance is stronger and it will remain strong to defeat the communal force,” Jha said.

RJD spokesperson Bhai Virendra also said there were no fissures in the alliance.

“Each party of the alliance is campaigning as per its own scheduled programme to cover maximum constituencies to defeat the opponents. So this should not be seen from the prism of conflict within the alliance,” he said.

However, Neeraj Kumar, the spokesperson of the JD (U) said there are contradictions within the alliance.

“Grand alliance is full of inner contradictions and it is the combination of political opportunism by corrupt and criminal. They would be rejected in people’s court as people knew their political opportunism,” he said.

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| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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