The Rashtriya Janata Dal on Sunday announced its candidates for by-elections to Tarapur and Kusheshwar Asthan assembly segments of Bihar, in what’s being seen as a snub to the Congress, its junior ally, which wants to contest one in every of the seats. At a group discussion addressed jointly by state RJD president Jagadanand Singh, national general secretary Alok Mehta and state spokesmen Mrityunjay, the names of Arun Kumar Sah and Ganesh Bharti were announced for Tarapur and Kusheshwar Asthan, respectively.
By-elections to the 2 seats, which were won by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), are necessitated by deaths of the incumbents. Unlike the NDA, which presented an image of cohesion two days ago when leaders of all the constituents jointly announced the coalition’s candidates, the RJD, which helms the five-party Grand Alliance, declared nominees with none of the partners by its side.
RJD sources said the decision to contest both seats followed the dismal performance of the Congress in the assembly seats when it fought 70, won less than 20, and was blamed by all partners for the Grand Alliance falling short of a majority. Meanwhile, the BJP came out with another take on the development whichl is likely to put some strain on the Congress-RJD ties.