Former Union Minister Shakeel Ahmad, the only noticeable Muslim face of Congress in Bihar, on Monday said he will contest the Lok Sabha elections as an Independent candidate from Madhubani Lok Sabha seat.
Ahmad, who was unhappy after his “traditional seat” of Madhubani went to ally VIP under a seat sharing formula of the Opposition Alliance, said he will file his nomination papers on Tuesday.
“I have demanded the support of the party. If the party high command does not extend support, I will contest as an Independent,” Shakeel told the media at his residence in Madhubani.
Resigning from the post of senior spokesperson of Congress, he clarified he’s not leaving the Congress but have decided to file his nomination papers tomorrow from Madhubani parliamentary constituency.
Ahmad pointed out that a Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supported candidate was contesting against Congress candidate Ranjeet Ranjan in Supaul. “If RJD can support a candidate against an official Congress candidate, then why can’t the Congress do the same in Madhubani?”Ranjeet Ranjan, wife of Pappu Yadav, is the Congress sitting lawmaker from Supaul.
Ahmad said that the ‘Gathbandhan‘, a political nomenclature for the Opposition Alliance led by the RJD, candidate in Madhubani cannot defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate in Madhubani. VIP has named Badri Purbey as its nominee from Madhubani seat.
Ashok Yadav, son of BJP MP Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav, is the BJP candidate in Madhubani.
Former Union Minister Mohammad Ali Ashraf Fatmi of the RJD is also miffed over denial of ticket and has virtually rebelled against the party and announced to contest election from Madhubani seat against the Opposition Alliance candidate. Fatmi, like Ahmad, has also given an ultimatum to his party stating that he would wait for decision about him till April 18, when he would file nomination papers from Madhubani seat.
As per the seat sharing formula of the Opposition alliance, the Congress is contesting just nine of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, the RJD on 19 and remaining seats have been distributed to allies RLSP, HAM and VIP.