Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Congress’ Shakeel Ahmad wants to contest from Madhubani,…

Former Union minister and All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesman Shakeel Ahmad on Monday served a three-day ultimatum to the party to allow him to contest Madhubani Lok Sabha seat on the party symbol or he would contest as an Independent.

“I have asked party seniors to let me enter into a friendly contest with Badrinath Purbe of Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP), like the one in Chatra, on the party symbol or free me to fight as Independent,” Ahmad said, adding that he would file his papers as a candidate from Madhubani on Tuesday.

Purbe, who has been declared as the Grand Alliance (GA) nominee from Madhubani under the seat sharing pact, on Monday filed his nomination.

“Purbe has little understanding about the constituency and does not belong to the district. BJP cadres are also restive over nomination of Ashok Yadav, son of the sitting MP Hukumdev Narayan Yadav. The situation in Madhubani is quite favourable this time,” said Ahmad, also former president of Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC).

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Ahmad said he would wait till April 18 about the party’s decision on the friendly fight, for which he had sought approval from the AICC, or else he would contest as an independent. “All Congress workers of the district are enraged after the party surrendered the seat. They are ready to support me in the elections,” said the Congress spokesman.

However, BPCC spokesman Harkhu Jha, who also hails from Madhubani, said the party might act tough with any leader who sought to breach the party discipline. “No one is above the party. Stern action could be taken against any leader who decides to fight against the GA candidate without the consent of the AICC,” said Jha.

The Madhubani Lok Sabha seat, which was won by BJP’S Hukmdev Narayan Yadav in 2014, is set to witness a battle of heavyweight rebels.

Earlier, former Union minister and senior RJD leader Mohammad Ali Ashraf Fatmi announced his intentions to contest as an Independent after it was allotted to the VIP under the GA seat-sharing pact.

Fatmi, however, said he might opt out if Ahmad jumped into the poll fray under a friendly fight. Earlier, he had also planned filing his nomination from Darbhanga as an Independent after the RJD put up Abdul Bari Siddqui as its official nominee. Fatmi has represented Darbhanga in Lok Sabha four times.

First Published:
Apr 16, 2019 10:58 IST

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