Protests over denial over assembly poll tickets

Be it the ruling JD(U), or the opposition Congress, RJD or BJP, denial of nominations for the assembly elections in Bihar this month has led to protests.

Patna: Be it the ruling JD(U), or the
opposition Congress, RJD or BJP, denial of nominations for the
assembly elections in Bihar this month has led to protests.

JD(U) activists had their heads tonsured and performed
`pind daan`, after burning effigies of Chief Minister Nitish
Kumar at the party office here yesterday.

"The party leadership has ignored the demand of
genuine grassroot workers and has allotted symbols those who
switched over to the JD(U) from other parties for securing
nominations," was the common refrain of party activists.

The rumblings started since the JD(U) declared
its first list of candidates last week.

"It happens at election time. We have to accommodate
party hoppers in distribution of tickets keeping in mind the
winnability factor," state JD(U) spokesperson Sanjay Kumar
Singh said.

Singh alleged that most of those involved in such
protests had the support of opposition parties like RJD and

Resentment over ticket distribution has also
surfaced in the BJP with party workers ransacking the office
on Veer Chand Patel Path a couple of days ago and shouting
slogans against senior leaders.

It is the same for the Lalu Prasad led RJD and
Congress with party workers holding demonstrations before
respective office charging the leadership with neglecting them
during ticket distribution.

On Sunday, disappointed Congress ticket seekers
vandalised and set ablaze party offices and burnt effigies of
central leaders at different places accusing them of using
their position to get tickets for their nominees.

The Congress office in Purnia was vandalised and that
at Madhubani set on fire by supporters of Congress leader in
Sasaram Salamat Ansari who burnt the effigy of Lok Sabha
Speaker Meira Kumar charging her with using her influence to
get a ticket for her nephew, Raj Shekhar.

In Purnia, Congress workers set on fire the party
office to protest `unfairness` in ticket distribution for the
assembly seats in the district.

They had also burnt effigy of the AICC in-charge and
the union minister Mukul Wasnik and shouted slogans alleging
that assembly tickets were sold to some candidates with deep
pockets allegedly at his behest.

Sadaquat Ashram housing the state Congress office here
is under lock and key for the past four days with a section of
party workers laying virtual seize alleging that money power
had played `a major role` in distribution of tickets.

In Madhubani district, angry Congress workers burnt
the effigy of senior leader Shakeel Ahmed Khan and shouted
slogans against him for the same reason.

Similarly, the RJD had to face the protests at its
leader Lalu Prasad`s residence on Sunday where supporters of a
ticket aspirant Ritlal Yadav held a demonstration and burnt
the party chief`s effigy.

"Workers are taking to protests in mad pursuit of
tickets, but it is temporary... all will unite to bolster the
electoral prospects of party," Prasad said.