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CPI fields Kanhaiya Kumar from Begusarai seat after Bihar coalition snub; ex-JNUSU president to face BJP's Giriraj Singh

The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Sunday confirmed that it would field former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar from Bihar's Begusarai seat for the upcoming seven-phased Lok Sabha elections, scheduled to be held from 11 April.

This development comes a day after the Bihar 'Mahagathbandhan' snubbed the Left by excluding them from the seat-sharing formula. Kanhaiya has been pitted against BJP-led NDA candidate Giriraj Singh, who was earlier shifted from Nawada as the seat went to Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), reported The Times of India.

Slamming the Grand Alliance, the Left parties of Bihar on Saturday said that the decision to exclude them from seat-sharing formula was not in sync with the ground realities of the state.

 CPI fields Kanhaiya Kumar from Begusarai seat after Bihar coalition snub; ex-JNUSU president to face BJPs Giriraj Singh

File image of Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

The CPI(ML) Liberation, the major Left party in Bihar, said it would now contest in five seats and extend support to the CPI and the CPM, who have declared their nominees for two Lok Sabha constituencies.

"Had the Left been taken aboard, it would have added to the credibility of the challenge that the anti-BJP parties seek to pose to the NDA. It seems the Grand Alliance has not learnt its lessons from the betrayal of mandate," CPI(ML) Liberation state secretary Kunal said in a statement.

He was referring to chief minister Nitish Kumar, the Janata Dal(United) chief, who walked out of the Mahagathbandhan in 2017 and returned to the NDA.

On Friday, the Opposition announced its seat-sharing formula for the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, half of which will be fought by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and nine by the Congress.

New entrants to the Grand Alliance: Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) and Mukesh Sahni's Vikasheel Insan Party (VIP) will field candidates on five and three seats respectively.

Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) has been given three seats.

"The Left had, on its own, decided to contest very few seats this time in order to prevent division of anti-BJP votes. The manner in which the seats have been allocated can be called anything but just," Kunal added.

The CPI(ML) has already announced candidature of Raju Yadav, from Ara. The NDA has fielded Union minister RK Singh, the sitting BJP MP, from the seat.

CPM state secretary Awadhesh told PTI that the party politburo has objected to the manner in which the seat-sharing formula was announced, keeping the Left out of the formation.

"We have decided to field young member of our state secretariat Ajay Kumar from Ujiarpur. We will be supporting other Left parties in seats where they field their candidates," Awadhesh said.

The NDA has fielded state BJP state president and sitting MP Nityanand Rai from Ujiarpur.

Announcement of the seat-sharing formula by the Grand Alliance had evoked resentment from CPI secretary general Sudhakar Reddy on Friday.

"We had an understanding with Lalu Prasad Yadav, but he is in jail. So, I don't know how things have been conveyed to his son (Tejashwi Yadav). He had agreed for six seats including Begusarai and Madhubani," Reddy had said.

With inputs from PTI

Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.

Updated Date: Mar 24, 2019 15:07:48 IST

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