After days of uncertainty, the Congress party on Monday announced that the Kirti Azad, a former BJP MP from Darbhanga will contest Lok Sabha 2019 election from Dhanbad in neighbouring Jharkhand.
The cricketer-turned-politician was seeking to contest from Darbhanga, considered the heart of Mithilanchal, but had to relent as the RJD refused to accommodate Kirti’s candidature plea and preferred to field party’s Muslim face Abdul Bari Siddiqui from the seat.
Reluctant to fight from anywhere other than Darbhanga, Kirti was asked to contest from Valmikinagar the other constituency in north Bihar, but he expressed his hesitancy to contest from the seat which is presently represented by BJP.
In Dhanbad he is to face contest from two time sitting BJP MP PN Singh, a veteran who enjoys the backing of sizeable Rajputs.
Once regarded as a Congress bastion, Dhanbad district slowly slipped from its grip after 1977. And since then, the BJP has been holding sway.
Kirti Azad’s native village is at Godda in Jharkhand. His in-laws are from Darbhanga.
Kirti’s elder brother Rajvardhan Azad, who is now chairman of the Bihar State University Service Commission, had also contested the Lok Sabha election in 2014 from Godda losing his deposit.