Sonia refuses to meet Lalu’s bro-in-law and Congress aspirant Subhash Yadav

Monday, September 27, 2010

NEW DELHI - An attempt by Subhash Yadav, the estranged brother-in-law of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, to meet Congress party president Sonia Gandhi came to naught on Monday, with her office not granting the appointment.

Yadav, who quit the RJD last week in the hope of joining the Congress before the commencement of the six-phase state assembly elections in Bihar in October and November, was left disappointed by the move.

The Central Election Committee (CEC) of the Congress has cleared the names of about 140 candidates for the first three phases of assembly elections in Bihar. The list is to be announced between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. tonight by CEC chief and senior party leader Oscar Fernandes.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other members of the CEC had finalized the names after discussing threadbare the strengths and weakness of candidates last week.

The CEC, which is the apex body of the Congress that decides the candidates for polls, is reported to have given a fair representation to all sections of society.

Unconfirmed reports said the party has given ticket to 32 Muslims, about 25 women and around 30-35 youth with 10-12 from the Youth Congress. There are about 10 unknown faces in the list as well.

The party has already decided to go it alone in the assembly elections and is fielding candidates in all the 243 constituencies.

Having been out of power in Bihar since 1989 and reduced to a marginal force over the years, the Congress is exploring different strategies and caste equations to emerge as a formidable force. It is reaching out to all the castes and communities to make a comeback. The party has also kept caste considerations in their minds while selecting the candidates. Caste demographics play a dominant role in Bihar politics.

Congress sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that had Sonia Gandhi met Subhash Yadav today, the development could have queered the party’s electoral chances in Bihar.

Subhash Yadav, the youngest of Lalu Prasad’s three brothers-in-law, formally resigned from the RJD on September 20.

Last week, he said that he was getting offers from a number of parties and would decide on his future course of action shortly.

“Laluji will now not get more than 25-30 seats,” he said, while terming his exit as a major blow to the RJD.

Close associates of Subhash Yadav revealed that he was unhappy about being sidelined by his sister Rabri Devi and the RJD chief.

What angered him the most was being denied re-nomination to the Rajya Sabha this year. ast year, shortly before the Lok Sabha elections, his brother Sadhu Yadav, alias Anirudh Prasad Yadav had also left the RJD to join the Congress.

The Bihar elections will be held over six phases, beginning October 21 and will end on November 20. (ANI)

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