BJP likely to field all five Union ministers

PATNA: TheBJPis likely to field all its five Union ministers from the state in the parliamentary election from the constituencies they represented in the 16th Lok Sabha, barring Union minister of state Giriraj Singh, who would be shifted from his present Nawada seat to Begusarai to battle it out with former JNUSU president and the CPI’s probably nomineeKanhaiya Kumar, party sources said.

The five Lok Sabha MPs, who had been inducted into the Union council of ministers by PM Narendra Modi, are Radha Mohan Singh (Motihari), Giriraj (Nawada), R K Singh (Ara), Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Buxar) and Ram Kripal Yadav (Pataliputra).

Till recently, the JD(U) led by CM Nitish Kumar had been exerting pressure on the BJP to cede to it the Ara, Buxar and Pataliputra constituencies. On the other hand, the LJP headed by Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan kept its eyes fixed on the Nawada seat, as it had to relinquish the Munger seat in favour of the JD(U)’s Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh.

However, as the state BJP sources said, the RSS, ideological organization of the larger saffron family, put its feet down and pushed the BJP hard to make its assertion before the JD(U) negotiators, refusing to cede the seats held by the five Union ministers, besides also keeping its toehold on the districts which have strong presence of the people of the Muslim community.
In tune with the RSS line, the BJP has also decided to field its candidate from Araria in the Seemanchal region which has a strong presence of Muslim population. The Kishanganj andKatiharseats have reportedly gone to the JD(U). The BJP has also rebuffed the JD(U)’s strong push by retaining the Bhagalpur and Banka seats, sources said.
Further, as an extension of the strong nationalist line of the ‘sangh parivar’, Giriraj is likely to be retained despite initial doubts regarding the continuance of his candidature. However, he would be shifted to Begusarai.
The BJP is expected to make the formal announcement of its share of 17 parliamentary seats and their candidates on Sunday. “All decisions regarding seat and candidate selections would be taken by the central leadership. We cannot say anything before that,” state BJP vice-president Dewesh Kumar said.