Cong appoints observers for Bihar by-polls, plays the Yadav card

  • | Saturday | 16th October, 2021

Patna, Oct 15 (PTI) The Congress on Friday announced its observers for by-elections to Tarapur and Kusheshwar Asthan assembly seats in Bihar, where it is trying hard to make a mark, while locked in a triangular contest with the much more formidable JD(U) and the RJD.According to a communication issued by AICC general secretary K C Venugopalan, the party has made its former MP Ranjeet Ranjan the observer for the reserved seat Kusheshwar Asthan, while secretary in-charge for Chhattisgarh Chandan Yadav has been assigned Tarapur.The move is seen as an attempt by the party to make a dent into the “Yadav base” of the RJD, which has left the Congress, its old ally, sore with unilateral announcement of candidates for the two seats that have fallen vacant upon deaths of sitting JD(U) MLAs.Notably, the Congress had fought Kusheshwar Asthan in the assembly polls last year and, given the fact that it had lost the seat by a small margin, it was hopeful of wresting it back with RJD’s support.After receiving a cold shoulder from the domineering senior ally, the Congress threw its hat in the ring for both seats where voting will take place on October 30.Ranjeet Ranjan, who hails from Punjab, is well known in Bihar which she made her home after her marriage to Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, a controversial politician and a several term MP himself.She began her career in 2004 as a Lok Janshakti Party MP from Saharsa, which has now been abolished. Five years later, she fought on a Congress ticket from Supaul, where she lost, only to wrest the seat back in 2014. She, however, lost again in 2019.Her husband, who was released from jail recently after being behind bars in connection with a three-decades old case, heads the Jan Adhikar Party (JAP), which has been active on the streets, but is yet to taste electoral success.Kusheshwar Asthan, besides obviously having a sizeable Dalit population, is also home to a large number of Yadavs, a fact hinted to by Lalu Prasad in a recent interaction with RJD workers by way of explaining the rationale behind entering the fray from there.The Congress has fielded Atirek Paswan, whose father Ashok Ram was the party candidate in the assembly polls.Chandan Yadav hails from Khagaria district, which is adjacent to Munger under which Tarapur, another constituency with a sizeable population of Yadavs, falls.The party has fielded Rajesh Mishra, an upper caste leader, from the seat. PTI NAC RBT RBT

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