BJP declares candidates for Bihar legislative council polls

Patna, Jun 24 (PTI) The BJP on Wednesday announced the names of its candidates for the biennial elections to the legislative council in Bihar where it is contesting two seats.

The party fielded Sanjay Prakash alias Sanjay Mayukh for a second consecutive term, besides nominating its former state unit vice president Samrat Chaudhary, according to a statement issued by the party's national headquarters in New Delhi.

The term of Mayukh, who is also the party's national media co-convenor, ended in May this year.

Chaudhary's father, Shakuni Chaudhary, is a prominent leader from the Kushwaha community who was associated with Lalu Prasad, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's HAM at different points of time.

The choice of candidates is reflective of a balancing act by the BJP ahead of the assembly polls due in a few months.

The candidature of Mayukh, a Kayastha, is aimed at sending out a message to the upper castes that they should continue viewing the BJP as their first choice.

By choosing Chaudhary, the party has sought to project an OBC-friendly image, which is of vital importance in a state like Bihar which has been a hotbed of the so-called Mandal politics.

The JD(U), the alliance partner of the BJP, had announced its three candidates on Tuesday. Candidates of both parties are likely to file their nomination papers on the last day, Thursday.

Nomination papers were filed by all three candidates of the RJD on Wednesday. Its alliance partner, the Congress, which is slated to get one seat, is in a fix over deciding its candidate.

The party was embarrassed when in the last few days nearly 3,000 people turned up at the state headquarters with their bio-data with the request that they be considered for the berth.

State Congress president Madan Mohan Jha tried to make light of the chaos and claimed it was reflective of democracy within the party. PTI NAC SOM TIR TIR