It's Lalu's protege vs ex-MP's wife

The election was necessitated after Digvijay’s death in London in June last. The firebrand Rajput leader was Union Minister in Chandrashekhar’s regime and later served Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Minister of State for Railways, and later as MoS, External Affairs.

The five-time MP had gone to London along with a Commonwealth shooting team as the president of the National Rifle Association of India. On June 10, he suffered a heart attack and was admitted to St Thomas Hospital. He suffered a brain haemorrhage and died at the age of 55.

Soon after the Election Commission announced the byelection, attempts were made by all the major political parties to wean away his widow, but Putul politely turned down all the offers.

But still, such was the soft-corner and respect for Digvijay that the Congress, JD (U) and the BJP announced to support the candidature of Putul who is in the fray as an Independent.
Considering the sympathy wave for Putul in Digvijay’s fiefdom, she would have won hands down. But Lalu played a spoilsport in the last minute and fielded his confidant Jaiprakash as the RJD nominee.

However, at the ground level, local JD (U) leaders are not very happy with the party’s decision to back Putul, since Digvijay had revolted against Nitish Kumar in 2009. But then, Putul’s associates say they never asked for anyone’s help.

Digvijay’s old faithfuls–– Anurag Chaturvedi, Vedandand Singh and Dr KK Tripathi–– are all there to manage the poll affairs. And Putul is herself campaigning aggressively. “The result is sweet only if it comes after hard work,” said Putul, soon after campaigning ended on Saturday for the November 1 bypoll.

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