Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and Union minister Nityanand Rai attended the shradha ritual of LJP founder Ram Vilas Paswan who died recently. Paswan’s son Chirag was seen touching feet of Nitish Kumar and some other senior leaders, who have been at the receiving end of the LJP president’s relentless political tirade during the election season.
The 74-year-old Ram Vilas Paswan had died at a Delhi hospital on October 8. His last rites were conducted with full State honours at Patna on October 10.
The Brahm-bhoj, as part of the shradha ritual, was organised at the LJPs state headquarters in Patna. The Chief Minister accepted a laddu (sweet) and met the deceased leader’s wife.
The Chirag Paswan-led LJP has disassociated itself with the NDA in Bihar and has put candidates against JD(U) nominees in many places.
Initially, Chirag said he would go all out against the JD(U) only, has pitted nearly half-a-dozen nominees against the BJP too. While the BJP has called his party vote katua (vote splitter), he has advised them to chose their words wisely.
With all rituals connected to the veteran Dalit leader’s death ending on Tuesday, Chirag is all set to hit the political campaign now. He is scheduled to unveil his party’s vision document on Wednesday.
The LJP during the day released a list of 41 candidates for the third and final phase of the Bihar polls on November 7. Many of those named in the latest list would be taking on Kumar’s headed party nominees.
This included Sarairanjan constituency from where speaker of the outgoing assembly Vijay Kumar Chaudhary is in the poll fray.
On Monday, Chirag performed the shradha ritual of his father at his Sahabanni village in Khagaria district. He was accompanied by Prince Raj, who is also the LJP’s Bihar unit president.
1,464 candidates in fray for second phase
A total of 1,464 candidates are in the fray for the second phase of polling to 94 assembly seats in Bihar after 46 people withdrew their candidature on Monday, the last day for withdrawal of nominations.
Altogether 1,698 people filed their nominations for the November 3 elections, and poll authorities found those of 1,510 candidates valid after scrutiny, Additional Chief Electoral Officer (ACEO) Sanjay Kumar Singh said on Tuesday.
“Around 188 nominations for the second phase of polls were found invalid. Forty-six candidates withdrew their papers on Monday,” he is quoted by PTI as saying.
Referring to the third and final phase of polling on November 7 in 78 assembly seats, he said 884 candidates have filed their papers as per information available till 5 pm on Tuesday, the last day for filing nominations.
Singh said scrutiny will be done on Wednesday, and the candidates can withdraw their papers till October 23, adding that three candidates have filed their papers for the Valimikinagar Lok Sabha by-poll.
A total of 1,066 candidates have been in the fray for the 71 seats in the first phase of polling. Campaigning is underway in these seats. The counting of votes for the assembly elections will take place on November 10.