More than the NDA, Cong fighting its ‘enemy within’

Wife of a heavyweight politician in this part of the cow-belt, Pappu Yadav, Ranjeet was one of the two Congress MPs who romped home in 2014 Lok Sabha elections despite Modi wave. (Twitter)

Shortly after Congress candidate from Supaul, Ranjeet Ranjan, filed her nomination papers, the local leaders led by RJD MLA from Supaul, Yaduvanshu Kumar Yadav announced they won’t back Ranjeet.

Wife of a heavyweight politician in this part of the cow-belt, Pappu Yadav, Ranjeet was one of the two Congress MPs who romped home in 2014 Lok Sabha elections despite Modi wave.

In 2019 LS poll, the two-term MP Ranjeet is again in the fray as the Congress nominee backed by Mahagatbandhan. But this is only in theory. For all practical purposes, she will have to wage a lonely battle as a probability of sabotage by local RJD leaders could not be ruled out.

The RJD has already damaged Congress prospects when it denied ticket to sitting MP from Darbhanga, Kirti Azad. Member of the 1983 World Cup team, Kirti is a three-term MP from Darbhanga and had recently switched over from BJP to Congress. Son of former Bihar Chief Minister Bhagwat Jha Azad (who was also MP for three decades and Union Minister in Indira Gandhi regime), Kirti tried his best to be the Congress nominee from Brahmin-dominated Darbhanga in Mithilanchal area. But Lalu-Tejashwi combine, who headed the Mahagatbandhan talks, fielded RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui in place of Kirti.

In adjoining constituency Madhubani, senior Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad, who represented the constituency earlier and was union minister in UPA regime, was similarly booted out and the seat was given to Mukesh Sahni-headed Vikasheel Insaan Party (VIP), a new political outfit which has yet to test the waters in any Assembly or parliamentary polls.

The shabby treatment to Shakeel was just on the pattern of former Aurangabad MP Nikhil Kumar, who too was denied ticket. “Our top leaders, who could have emerged triumphant, were denied tickets under a design. And those who got tickets are likely to face sabotage from the enemy within,” lamented a senior Congress leader, requesting anonymity. “The Congress wanted Madhepura MP, Pappu Yadav, to join the party but he could not do so due to RJD’s stiff opposition. Shatru’s entry into Congress too has been delayed due to similar factors,” he told Deccan Herald.

“Even in Jharkhand, the RJD has decided to field its nominee in Chatra, where the Congress is already contesting as Mahagatbandhan candidate,” the source added.

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More than the NDA, Cong fighting its ‘enemy within’

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