(Adding detail of nomination filed by his main BJP rival) Hajipur, Oct 14 (PTI) Battle lines have been drawn for Raghopur assembly constituency with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and his main BJP rival Satish Kumar filing nominations on Wednesday.
Tejashwi, who has been chosen by the anti-NDA grouping as its chief ministerial candidate, is seeking re- election from Raghopur seat he won on his maiden outing in electoral politics in 2015.
Accompanied by elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav and senior party leader Bhola Rai, Tejashwi submitted his nomination papers to the Sub Divisional Officer-cum election officer for the Raghopur seat in Vaishali collectriat here.
Hours later, his main opponent Satish Kumar of the BJP also submitted his papers on the seat that will see voting in the second phase on November 3.
Kumar who had emerged as a giant killer after defeating former chief minister Rabri Devi from the same seat in the 2010 polls, had lost to Lalu Prasad's younger son last time.
But, at that time BJP was fighting alone and Tejashwi was a nominee of the grand alliance which then comprised of RJD, JD(U) and the Congress.
Located on the bank of river Ganga across capital Patna, Raghopur is a yadav dominated constituency which Lalu Prasad represented in the assembly twice since 1995 and his wife Rabri Devi from 2005-10.
But, the seat went to Satish Kumar, a fellow casteman, in 2010 when BJP and JD(U) were together in the NDA.
The contest is expected to get fierce as Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), which has dissociated itself from the ruling NDA in Bihar, has decided to field Rakesh Roshan as its nominee from the seat.
LJP sources said Roshan could file nomination on Thursday.
Coming out of the SDO's office, Tejashwi who has been chosen as heir apparent of Prasad, claimed 'the grand alliance will certainly form its government after the elections as a wave is clearly in its favour.' Taking a swipe at chief minister Nitish Kumar, the 30-year-old RJD leader described him as 'bechara mukhya mantri' (helpless chief minister) who he said failed to win either special status for Bihar from the union government or a central university status for the Patna university.
Earlier, before leaving for Hajipur for filing nomination, Tejashwi touched feet of his mother Rabri Devi and elder brother Tej Pratap at the former chief minister's Patna residence. Rabri Devi was seen holding photograph of husband Lalu Prasad.
Prasad is in jail in Ranchi after being convicted in four cases of multi-crore rupees fodder scam.
Tejashwi, who was leader of the opposition in the outgoing assembly, reiterated before media persons in the state capital that his future government would approve 10 lakh jobs in the government for youths in its very first cabinet.
'Let Nitish jee laugh at our promise (of 10 lakh jobs)...we are theht (pure) Bihari and fulfill what we say,' he said.
'Even after winning more seats than JD(U) in the last assembly polls, the RJD kept its promise of making him (Kumar) chief minister', he said to drive home his point.
Rabri told media persons, 'not only me the entire Bihar is showering blessing on Tejashwi to emerge winner in the present election.' But, Satish Kumar is not bothered.
'He has lost his credentials among people of Raghopur because he did not do any substantial development work and only cheated voters for five years,' the BJP candidate told PTI over phone.
'Though he (Tejashwi) is trying to woo yadav voters by claiming that he is going to become the chief minister after elections, but people are not interested,' he said.
Asked being son of Lalu Prasad, the tallest leader of the yadav castemen in Bihar politics is an advantage for Tejashwi, Kumar said 'achievements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the centre and Nitish Kumar in Bihar will comfortably see him through in the polls.' 'If Lalu Prasad name guarantees win for his sons, why Tej Pratap flee to Hasanpur from Mahua in Vaishali? 'Even Tejashwi was planning to shift to some other constituency but was given false believe by his advisors not to do so as he will win from Raghopur by hoodwinking people in the name of being CM candidate of the opposition,' the BJP nominee said.
Regarding, presence of Chirag Paswan headed LJP candidate on Raghopur seat, Kumar dubbed him a 'vote katua' (spoiler) of votes.
'Had Ramvilas Paswan been alive this would not have happened. But, the LJP candidate is nowhere in the race as even the Paswan voters are not backing him,' Kumar, who will be contesting from Raghopur seat for the third consecutive time, said. PTI CORR SNS SNS