The daughter of the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) chief Sharad Yadav, Subhashini Raj Rao, and former general secretary of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Kali Prasad Pandey, joined the Congress on Wednesday, weeks ahead of the Bihar assembly elections.
While Pandey has filed his nomination as a Congress candidate for the upcoming polls from the Kuchaikote constituency, the party is expected to field Rao from the Bihariganj seat, according to people familiar with the matter.
Welcoming the two in the party fold, Bihar Congress chief Madan Mohan Jha said that their joining will strengthen the Mahagathbandhan, or Grand Alliance, in the state.
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Addressing reporters at the Congress headquarters in Delhi, Rao, 30, said that her father always supported the Grand Alliance, and she is taking on the responsibility of carrying the fight forward in the state.
“I thank Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for giving me this opportunity. Sharad Yadav is not actively taking part in the Bihar elections as he is not well. He has always supported the Mahagathbandhan. It is my responsibility to take this fight forward and to take Bihar to greater heights,” she said.
Calling it a homecoming, Pandey said, “I feel honoured to have joined the Congress.”
Pandey, 74, had extended support to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1984 as a member of the Lok Sabha. In 1980, Pandey won the Bihar assembly elections as an independent candidate, and then won the 1984 Lok Sabha polls from Gopalganj.
“This is my old home and I am happy to be back to my old home,” he said.
The Congress has so far declared 21 candidates for the first phase of elections to be held on October 28.
The second and third phases will be held on November 3 and 7.
The results are scheduled to be declared on November 10.
While the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is contesting 144 of the state’s 243 seats, the Congress will field its candidates on 70. As part of the Mahagathbandhan, the left parties are contesting on 29 seats.
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