Congress leader and former Union minister Dr Shakeel Ahmad
The RJD-led grand alliance in Bihar suffered a major jolt as senior Congress leader Dr Shakeel Ahmad on Monday resigned from the party and is all set to contest the Lok Sabha elections as Independent candidate from Bihar’s Madhubani.
"As I have decided to file my nomination papers tomorrow from Madhubani Parliamentary Constituency in Bihar, I’m resigning from the post of Senior Spokesperson of AICC. I’m sending my resignation to Congress President Shri Rahul Gandhi," he tweeted
Ahmad was reportedly upset over the Madhubani seat been allotted to Mukesh Sahni-led Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) as part of the grand alliance’s seat sharing deal.
“I will file nomination from Madhubani tomorrow. I have asked the party to either let me contest the polls on its symbol or support me as an Independent candidate,” Ahmad had said earlier, adding that he is hopeful that the party will come up with a positive response by April 18 – the last day to file nomination in the constituency.
Ahmad, also the former president of Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC), said that the grand alliance candidate may not be strong enough to compete with the BJP candidate Ashok Yadav, son of BJP MP Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav.
He further pointed that RJD-supported candidate was contesting against Congress candidate Ranjit Ranjan in Supaul. "If RJD can support a candidate against an official Congress candidate, then why can't the Congress do the same in Madhubani?"
As per the seat sharing formula of the Grand Alliance, the Congress is contesting nine of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, the RJD on 19 and remaining seats have been given to allies RLSP, HAM and VIP.