JD(U): Congress taken by surprise as JD(U) picks Arunachal Lok Sabha candidate | India News

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PATNA: JD(U), headed by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Wednesday announced to field its candidate from Arunachal West Lok Sabha constituency, where its ally Congress was the runner-up in the 2019 general elections. The unilateral decision has caught Congress by surprise, and is bound to cause rumblings in the INDIA bloc.
JD(U) national general secretary and northeast region in-charge Afaque Ahmad Khan said the party’s Arunachal unit president, Ruhi Tagung will contest the Arunachal West seat. “This announcement is being made as directed by JD(U) president Nitish Kumar,” Khan said.
As seat-sharing talks among the INDIA partners are yet to begin, JD(U)’s move is being considered a pressure tactic ahead of the next meeting of the opposition bloc.
The grand old party’s working president in Arunachal, Bosiram Siram, told TOI over the phone: “Arunachal Pradesh has two Lok Sabha seats – Arunachal West and Arunachal East. Congress has a strong support base in both the constituencies, and the party is preparing to field its candidates from both the seats.”
Asked about JD(U)’s announcement, Siram refused to comment “on another party’s decision”, and said “whatever decision the Congress high command takes, we will follow”.The Arunachal West seat is currently held by Union minister Kiren Rijiju of the BJP, who had defeated state Congress president Nabam Tuki.
Congress leaders in Bihar, however, are clearly upset. The announcement comes close on the heels of claims by Bihar Legislative Council chairman Devesh Chandra Thakur that the party had promised him a ticket from the Sitamarhi Lok Sabha seat.

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