How better-halves have hampered 2 Bihar MPs’ prospects

Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav with Party candidate from Lucknow Poonam Sinha and Congress candidate from Patna Sahib Shatrughan Sinha during an election campaign rally for the Lok Sabha elections, in Lucknow, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (PTI Photo)

It’s more than a month since Shatrughan Sinha dumped the BJP and joined the Congress. But still, the grand old party’s candidate from Patna Sahib, Shatru is not getting whole-hearted support from the workers of his new party.

Reason: Trust deficit.

The Congressmen are miffed with Bihari Babu (as Shatrughan is fondly called) for showering encomiums on Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati, while campaigning for his wife Poonam Sinha in Lucknow. Poonam was SP nominee in Lucknow against senior BJP leader and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Shatru, who said he merely followed the ‘Pati-dharma’ while campaigning for his wife, ruffled many a feather in his party when he declared Akhilesh and Mayawati as potential prime-ministerial candidate. “Knowing very well that the party he has joined has Rahul Gandhi as the PM candidate, Shatru should have avoided singing paeans to Akhilesh and Mayawati, who miss no chance in ridiculing Congress president,” explained a senior Congress functionary why partymen are so indifferent towards a star candidate like Shatrughan Sinha.

“Secondly, and most importantly, when Shatru knew that he was a facing a tough battle in his home turf Patna Sahib against BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad (Union Law Minister), he should have focused his time and energy here, instead of shuffling between Patna and Lucknow and, in the process, praising those who have been berating Rahul ji,” the senior Congress leader told Deccan Herald.

Similar is the situation with Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan, who was one of those who could have emerged triumphant from her bastion: Supaul. But her husband Pappu Yadav, the expelled RJD MP, contested as an Independent from Madhepura against the official Mahagatbandhan candidate Sharad Yadav (contesting on RJD symbol). This infuriated RJD, which fielded a party leader against Ranjeet in neighbouring Supaul. “Since Pappu marred the prospects of Sharad Yadav, the RJD did the same to Ranjeet. Had Pappu withdrawn in favour of Sharad ji, we would have withdrawn nominee against his wife Ranjeet,” said the RJD source.

In this internecine war, one thing is for sure: Congress is most likely to suffer in these two constituencies - Patna Sahib and Supaul.

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