Bihar: 4 BJP leaders who can be Cong noms

Bihar: 4 BJP leaders who can be Cong noms

Lok Sabha member is Kirti Azad. PTI file photo

The Congress party may be flexing its muscles and reiterating that it should not contest less than 12 seats out of 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar. But it’s equally true that the grand old party does not have adequate winnable candidates within the organisation so that it could field its nominees at the dozen-odd seats.

As such, the party is looking towards such stalwarts in the opponent camp (read: BJP) from where it intends to wean away such leaders who wield enormous clout in their constituency but have raised a bogey of revolt against the BJP leadership.

The Congress has identified four such BJP leaders, including two Lok Sabha members from saffron camp, who could possibly be the grand old party candidates in Bihar in 2019 parliamentary polls.

One such Lok Sabha member is Kirti Azad, the cricketer-turned-BJP MP from Darbhanga, who has been suspended from the BJP for his utterances against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Though Kirti has never been associated with the Congress, his father late Bhagwat Jha Azad was Union Minister in Indira Gandhi Cabinet and later served as Bihar Chief Minister too, when Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister.

“Kirti Azad, after his meeting with the top AICC leadership, has given his consent to contest as Congress nominee from Darbhanga,” said the source in the Grand Alliance.

Another BJP leader on Congress radar is former MP from Purnea, Uday Singh, alias Pappu Singh. Born in an illustrious family, Uday’s father late Tribhuvan Singh was an IAS officer while mother Madhuri Singh was Congress MP from Purnea. Uday, however, became BJP MP from his mother’s constituency twice -  1998 and then again in 1999.

“Uday also happens to be a brother-in-law of Nikhil Kumar, former Delhi Police Commissioner, who was also a Congress MP from Bihar’s Aurangabad before becoming Kerala Governor. Uday is likely to be Congress nominee from Purnea,” said the source.

The Congress has also offered BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha to contest from his home turf Patna Sahib as he is most likely to be denied ticket by his parent organisation. “I have been approached by other parties, including Congress. But I will decide after January 14 – Makar Sankranti – when the auspicious period starts,” Shatrughan told Deccan Herald.

The fourth BJP leader who could be Congress nominee from Nalanda is a BJP legislator. “We would not like to reveal his name as he is a sitting MLA. But talks are in the final stage to field him as Congress candidate from Nalanda – Nitish’s fiefdom,” the source, refusing to be identified, added.