It's NDA vs NDA in Bihar's Maoist zone

It's NDA vs NDA in Bihar's Maoist zone

The Chakai Assembly seat in the Maoist-infested Jamui district has remained a bone of contention between two alliance partners of the NDA right from the beginning of the seat-sharing talks.

Even after finalisation of seats, it continues to make news for the wrong reasons, with the LJP and the HAM locking  horns.

Controversy arose after Jamui MP and Ram Vilas Paswan’s son Chirag put a pre-condition before the BJP that the Chakai Assembly seat, which falls under the Jamui Lok Sabha constituency, be allotted to the LJP.

On the other hand, Chakai’s sitting JD(U) MLA Sumit Singh, who rebelled against Nitish and joined Jitan Ram Manjhi’s camp, was also assured of a HAM ticket.

In the battle of attrition between the two dalit leaders Paswan and Manjhi, the BJP played a peace-maker and allotted the Chakai seat to the LJP to keep Paswan in good humour. At the same time, the saffron camp unofficially allowed Sumit Singh to enter the fray as an independent. His father Narendra Singh, a towering Rajput leader who has represented the area earlier and was a Cabinet minister in Nitish and Manjhi regime, started campaigning for his son.

Call it a coincidence or design, Sumit, despite being in the fray as independent, was allotted HAM symbol — telephone. Nobody from the NDA camp is now willing to confirm whether this was done deliberately.

Notably, Narendra Singh had been tirelessly trying to get Chakai seat for his son who was supposed to contest on HAM symbol as father-son joined Manjhi’s group after Nitish showed the JD(U) rebels the door.

But with Paswan remaining adamant, LJP candidate Vijay Singh, too. has filed his nomination papers.

Now, both the LJP and the HAM are locked in a straight contest.
When asked how an independent candidate got the symbol of HAM, the Jamui returning officer said that the HAM has not got full recognition as a party so far. Under such circumstances, if a political party is not contesting from a particular constituency, its symbol could be allotted to any independent candidate.

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