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Home News 2024 Lok Sabha Polls: Congress Announces Candidates for Kishanganj, Katihar and Bhagalpur

2024 Lok Sabha Polls: Congress Announces Candidates for Kishanganj, Katihar and Bhagalpur

By Alok Mohit

PATNA: The Congress on Tuesday released a list of 17 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, including three from Bihar.

Out of the nine seats the Congress is contesting in Bihar in alliance with INDIA bloc partners, the party named candidates for Kishanganj, Katihar and Bhagalpur.

Sitting MP Mohammed Jawed has been renominated from Kishanganj, while veteran leader Tariq Anwar has again been given ticket from Katihar. Congress MLA Ajeet Sharma will contest from Bhagalpur.

The selection of Jawed from Kishanganj, the lone Muslim-majority constituency in Bihar which the Congress has been winning for some time, reflects the party’s emphasis on continuity and strong representation.

In the neighbouring Katihar seat, the Congress has reposed faith in Anwar although he had lost the Lok Sabha election from this constituency in 2019. In 2014, Anwar had won the seat on the ticket of Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

In Bhagalpur, there was speculation that Bollywood actor Neha Sharma could enter the poll fray as a Congress candidate. The party, however, fielded her father and Bhagalpur MLA Ajeet Sharma, who, till recently, was also the Congress Legislature Party leader in Bihar assembly.

On the remaining six seats, the Congress central election committee is mulling on names who could potentially shape the electoral outcomes in their respective regions.

In Muzaffarpur, there is buzz surrounding the possibility of MLA Bijendra Chaudhary being nominated as the Congress candidate. Chaudhary’s deep-rooted connection to the constituency and his proven track record as a legislator make him a formidable contender for the party. However, with sitting MP Ajay Nishad joining the Congress on Tuesday after denial of ticket by the BJP, the possibility of him being fielded by the grand old party cannot be ruled out.

Discussions are also underway regarding the candidature of Akash Singh, the son of Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Akhilesh Singh from Muzaffarpur. In case of lack of consensus on fielding Akash Singh from Muzaffarpur, the BPCC chief is reported to be seeking ticket for his son from Paschim Champaran, where Kedar Shashwat, grandson of former Bihar chief minister Kedar Pandey, is emerging as a formidable contender.

In Maharajganj, the name of legislator Vijay Shankar Dubey is said to be under consideration. Party sources, meanwhile, underway to find the winnability if former JNU students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar was nominated from here. Kanhaiya had contested the 2019 election as a CPI candidate from Begusarai, which he lost to Union minister Giriraj Singh.

With former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar reluctant to contest from Sasaram, the Congress is considering the option of introducing a fresh face in the constituency. Speculations are rife that sitting MP Chedi Paswan, who has been dropped by the BJP, is in talks with the Congress. However, his nomination was being opposed by Meira Kumar.

Lok Sabha elections for the 40 seats in Bihar will be held in seven phases on April 19, 26, May 7, 13, 20, 25, and June 1. Votes will be counted on June 4.

In 2019, the Congress won only one seat –Kishanganj–in the state while its allies drew a blank.

Author Alok Mohit is former senior News Editor of Hindustan Times Patna and Chandigarh editions; can be contacted at mohit.alok19@gmail.com 

 

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