In Bihar, while the NDA has finalized its seat-sharing deal sidelining Pashupati Paras, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has fresh trouble at its disposal. On Saturday, JD(U) MLA Bima Bharti, once close confident of Nitish Kumar, quit the party and joined Lalu Yadav’s RJD. She may likely be fielded in the Lok Sabha elections from Purnia by the RJD. 

“People of Purnia are ready to vote for us. I will contest Lok Sabha polls from Purnia if my party asks me to,” former Bihar Minister Bharti said. The RJD is likely to release its candidate list for Bihar today. The list may include names of former Bihar Chief Minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s daughters, Rohini Acharya and Misa Bharti. Rohini Acharya is expected to contest from Saran, while Misa Bharti may run from the Pataliputra constituency.

Bima Bharti Trouble For Mahagathbandhan

Bima Bharti’s entry has indicated a fresh rift within the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan in Bihar. While Bharti has expressed willingness to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Purnia, Pappu Yadav made a tweet indicating his claim on the seat. Yadav has recently merged his Jan Adhikar Party into the Congress and is likely to contest the Lok Sabha polls. He wants to contest the Purnia seat as well. “Will die, will not leave Congress. Will leave the world, will not leave Purnia,” said Pappu Yadav. In 2019, Santosh Kumar of Janata Dal (United) won the Purnia seat as part of the NDA bloc.

Bharti’s Rift With Nitish

Once known to be in the good books of Nitish Kumar, Bimar Bharti got on his wrong side a few years ago when she threw a fit over the induction of Leshi Singh in the state cabinet. Leshi Singh is the JD(U) MLA from Dhamdaha in Purnea and her late husband Butan Singh, a local strongman, had been a fierce rival of Bharti’s spouse Awadhesh Mandal. Bharti also wanted a cabinet post but did not get it. She was reportedly upset with the move.

Challenge For Madhubani Seat

Former JDU MLA Faraz Fatmi also quit the party following his father Mohammed Ali Ashraf Fatmi’s footstep who also resigned last week from the party. The father-son duo has been formerly associated with the RJD. Fatmi senior is a four-term former MP and has expressed his desire to contest the Lok Sabha poll from Madhubani, a seat which has gone into the kitty of JD(U)’s ally BJP. They are likely to rejoin the RJD and stake claim to the Madhubani seat.

Bihar Lok Sabha Polls

Bihar is set to witness a seven-phase poll for its 40 Lok Sabha seats. The first phase will see voting on four seats, followed by five seats each from Phase 2 to Phase 5. The last two phases, 6 and 7, will have elections on eight seats each.