RJD authorises Lalu to select candidates, talk to allies

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Patna, Sep 15: RJD on Tuesday authorised its chief Lalu Prasad to select party candidates for the Bihar Assembly elections starting next month, and hold talks with alliance partners on all emerging issues.

A meeting of state RJD parliamentary board under former Chief Minister Rabri Devi held during the day decided to give the authority to Prasad, state party President Ramchandra Purbe told reporters here.

Lalu Prasad Yadav

Purbe, who was accompanied by Prasad's son Tejaswi Yadav and RJDLP leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui, said the party's central parliamentary board would meet on September 17 and deliberate on selection of candidates for the crucial polls.

The elections to the 243-seat Assembly would be held on October 12, 16, 28, November 1 and 5. The decision to leave the decision on selection of candidates to Prasad came in the midst of media reports of RJD claiming many sitting seats of ruling JD(U), with which it is in grand secular alliance.

Media reports said Lalu Prasad's two sons Tej RPT Tej Pratap and Tejaswi are expected to enter the fray from Mahua and Raghopur, which are in Vaishali district and have sitting JD(U) MLAs.

Purbe denied any "hiatus" among the partners of the grand secular alliance over seat selection and asserted there was "proper coordination" among them.

In reply to a question as to whether RJD would change its tack on the chief ministerial candidate if it wins more seats in the poll, Rabri Devi told reporters that Nitish Kumar has already been chosen as a chief ministerial candidate of the secular alliance.

Siddiqui said every party, including AIMIM of Hyderabad MP Asauddin Owaisi had the right to contest and none could take it away.

"But, Bihar elections is strictly between NDA and the grand secular alliance and no other party or individual would get any support from anywhere," Siddiqui said, in an apparent comment on Owaisi that he would not be able to cut much ice with Muslims in Seemanchal area of the state from where AIMIM would contest.

Tejaswi claimed that RJD was concentrating on youths by making them aware that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not do anything to fullfill the promise of creating one crore job every year.

PTI

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