Bihar polls: BJP to field candidates in 102 seats

The BJP today said it would field candidates in 102 constituencies in upcoming Bihar assembly polls- the same number as in the last elections- and declared the names of 87 contestants.

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2010, 00:08 AM IST

New Delhi: The BJP today said it would field
candidates in 102 constituencies in upcoming Bihar assembly
polls- the same number as in the last elections- and declared
the names of 87 contestants, including eight women while
leaving the rest of the seats to ally JD(U).

The announcement by party general secretary in-charge of
Bihar Ananth Kumar that BJP will contest the same number of
seats as in 2005 has belied reports that JD-U wanted three
more seats than its share of 141 in the 243-member state
assembly.

Four sitting MLAs did not get ticket this time but Party
general secretary in-charge of Bihar Ananth Kumar said this
was done due to change in demographic profile of their
constituencies after delimitation.

Minister of Environment and Forest Ramji Das Rishidev is
the only minister in the Nitish Kumar government to be dropped
from the list of candidates. In his place, Parmanand Rishidev
has been given ticket from Raniganj seat in Araria district.

Rishidev had won the elections from this constituency in
February 2005 but was dropped in the November by-elections
from there.

Laxmi Narayan Mehta, who was MLA from Forbesganj has been
replaced by famous litterateur Phaneshwar Nath Renu`s son
Padmaparag Renu, Sri Kishan Singh (Begusarai) has been
replaced by Surendra Mehta and Sanjeev Jha (Saharasa) by Alok
Jha.

46 sitting MLAs figure in the list of candidates
announced today.

"We have finalised the names of 87 candidates after
reaching a consensus among all senior party leaders and after
consulting our units at the Mandal, district and the Core
Group at the state level," Kumar said.

Besides the eight women, 16 Scheduled Caste candidates,
one Scheduled Tribe and one minority candidate have been given
ticket by the BJP for the for the six-phase Assembly elections
beginning on October 21.

"BJP President Nitin Gadkari has been authorised by the
Central Election Commission to finalise candidates for the
remaining 15 constituencies. The names will be announced in
2-3 days," Kumar said.

Sources said the decision on some seats was deferred as
there are too many strong contenders for them.

Prominent candidates in the list include Sukhda Pande
(Buxar) who is the national vice-president of BJP, former
Bihar minister Ashwini Chaubey (Bhagalpur), former state unit
president Nand Kishore Yadav (Patna Sahib), Renu Devi
(Bettiah) and Bhagirathi Devi (Ramnagar-SC)- both sitting
women MLAs- and Padmaprayag Renu (Forbesganj).

Party sources said some more sitting MLAs may be dropped
in the remaining 15 constituencies where candidates are yet to
be announced.

BJP candidates had won from 55 constituencies in the
2005 assembly elections and at present their strength is 54.

Two candidates for by-elections in Uttar Pradesh were
also announced by the party.

Vinod Mishra (Lakhimpur Nagar) and Rajesh Yadav
(Nidholikalan) will be BJP candidates for the assembly
by-elections in UP.

PTI