New Delhi, Sep 21: BJP ally RLSP on Monday announced the names of its candidates for 17 seats in the Bihar assembly polls, asserting that its nominees did not owe their tickets to family ties at a time when another NDA constituent LJP has come in for criticism for its family politics.
Underscoring the persisting differences among NDA parties over conflicting claims on a few seats, RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha also protested against BJP for keeping him in "dark" about putting up its candidate from a seat it had considered allotting to his party and said he would take it up with its chief Amit Shah.
RLSP will contest on 23 seats and is likely to come out with the names of six more candidates in a few days. In a veiled dig at other NDA partners, RLSP's chief general secretary Shivraj Singh said all his party candidates were common workers without having any family link to top party leaders or any criminal background.
"Most of them are poor. None of the candidates we have announced today have some family link or criminal background. That we will give tickets to candidates without criminal background and only to dedicated workers was stand conveyed to NDA leaders," Singh told a press conference.
His assertion came amid some criticism of the candidates declared by Ramvilas Paswan-led LJP as many of them are related to the Paswan family or other party bigwigs like Surajbhan Singh or Rajan Tiwari, both strongmen facing criminal charges.
Making public his differences with BJP over the allocation of seats, Kushwaha said RLSP was keen to contest from Minapur from where BJP's sitting MLA was unlikely to fight.
"I was told that the BJP MLA will fight from there and if not then my party will be considered. But they yesterday announced the name of a person linked to the MLA's family while keeping me in dark. I will take it up with Amit Shah ji," he said.
The announcement had its share of drama when a ticket aspirant barged into the press conference and began crying, alleging that he was denied a ticket despite "paying up". Later, he claimed that he was still hopeful of getting a nomination.