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Purnea's Independent candidate Pappu Yadav describes self as 'Congress soldier'

Despite throwing his hat into the ring as an Independent candidate from Bihar's Purnea Lok Sabha seat, former MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav asserted that he still considers himself 'a soldier of the Congress' and will remain with the party till his last breath.
Last Updated : 13 April 2024, 09:19 IST
Last Updated : 13 April 2024, 09:19 IST

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Patna: Despite throwing his hat into the ring as an Independent candidate from Bihar's Purnea Lok Sabha seat, former MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav asserted that he still considers himself "a soldier of the Congress" and will remain with the party till his last breath.

According to a seat-sharing arrangement agreed upon by the opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc constituents in the state, the RJD nominated JD(U) turncoat Bima Bharti from Purnea, denying the seat to the Congress.

Yadav, who recently joined the grand old party, blamed RJD president Lalu Prasad for the apparent cracks in the opposition bloc in Purnea.

"I am a soldier of the Congress and its leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. I will remain (ideologically) with the party till my last breath. The ideology of the Congress is in my blood. I had never wanted a situation to emerge in Purnea where the I.N.D.I.A. bloc’s constituents could be seen fighting each other, like in West Bengal and Kerala," Yadav said in an interview with PTI.

Notably, the state Congress has been requesting the five-time former MP to withdraw his nomination in view of the seat-sharing formula, but Pappu Yadav, who had won the Purnea seat thrice as an Independent in the 1990s, did not lend an ear to the party's advice.

"This time I was offered two Lok Sabha seats - Madhepura and Supaul—by the RJD supremo but not the Purnea constituency. That was not acceptable at all…I just can’t compromise with my identity and ideology. Purnea is my ‘Karmbhoomi, and I will never leave it till my last breath. I will work hard to fight against corruption and develop the Seemanchal and Kosi region for the rest of my life," Yadav said.

JD(U) MP Santosh Kumar Kushwaha, who is seeking re-election from Purnea, RJD's Bharti and Yadav are locked in a three-cornered fight.

"For the first time in my political career, I felt tortured…but the people of Purnea were always with me and I won their hearts. I won the trust of electors of Purnea as well as Bihar…they are my family," Yadav said.

He recently joined the Congress along with his son Sarthak, merging his Jan Adhikar Party (JAP), founded in 2015.

Yadav, without naming RJD leader Tejashwi, said, “They (RJD leaders) treated me like their enemy. He (Tejashwi) accompanied Bharti when she filed her nomination papers. Some people in Bihar politics conspired to end my political career."

Bharti recently quit the JD(U) and joined the RJD.

Yadav also said, "The people of Purnea have always supported Pappu Yadav above caste and creed. Purnea will never forget it...electorates here will give them a befitting reply in the elections.”

Elaborating his plan for the Purnea Lok Sabha seat, Yadav said unemployment is the main issue here and nobody talks about bringing industries to Purnea and the Seemanchal region.

"Now my prime concern is to bring some major industries to Purnea so that youths of this region get employment opportunities. I will also ensure a better price for the produce of farmers of the area and free them from the clutches of middlemen," he said.

The country, especially Bihar and the Seemachal region that includes Purnea has "caste discrimination and Hindu-Muslim division", the Independent candidate claimed.

As part of the seat-sharing deal of Bihar’s opposition alliance 'Mahagathbandhan', Purnea was allotted to the RJD, which has fielded Bharti, a five-time MLA,

Purnea will go to the polls on April 26, the second of the seven phases of the Lok Sabha polls.

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Published 13 April 2024, 09:19 IST

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