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Rabri Devi among 8 candidates to file nomination for legislative council polls on last day

Patna, Mar 11 (PTI) Former Bihar CM Rabri Devi on Monday filed nomination papers for election to the state legislative council, besides three other candidates of her RJD and one of alliance partner CPI(ML) Liberation.

Patna, Mar 11 (PTI) Former Bihar CM Rabri Devi on Monday filed nomination papers for election to the state legislative council, besides three other candidates of her RJD and one of alliance partner CPI(ML) Liberation.

Three candidates of the BJP, including former minister and state unit chief Mangal Pandey, also filed their nomination papers.

Rabri Devi reached the Vidhan Sabha secretariat along with her husband Lalu Prasad, the RJD president, and sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav.

The other RJD candidates who filed nomination papers were Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Syed Faisal Ali and Urmila Thakur. CPI(ML) Liberation's Shashi Yadav also filed nomination papers.

Tejashwi Yadav, a former Deputy CM and the leader of multi-party Mahagathbandhan, told reporters, 'It is a matter of delight that our coalition has fielded three women.' While Yadav's mother is seeking re-election to the upper house for a third consecutive term, Siddiqui, a veteran leader, has had a three-year-long stint in the council in the 1990s, besides having been elected to the assembly several times.

The other Mahagathbandhan candidates will be making their debut in the Vidhan Parishad.

Yadav, however, declined to take questions on former Lok Janshakti Party president Chirag Paswan, who is in the NDA but has dropped hints that he could switch sides if he got a better deal.

CPI(ML) Liberation legislative party leader Mehboob Alam told reporters, 'Let Chirag make clear his stand. His late father Ram Vilas Paswan had been our ally. If he, too, decides to junk the BJP, we shall welcome him.' Congress legislative party leader Shakil Ahmed Khan, who was also present on the occasion, was asked about some leaders of his party expressing dissatisfaction that 'despite having 17 MLAs', it was not fielding a candidate for legislative council polls.

Notably, elections are being held for 11 seats, the terms of which are to end in May. Of these, one seat was held by senior Congress leader Prem Chandra Mishra.

However, Khan said, 'Our party is democratic and all people are allowed to express their opinions. But this is not an issue. We got our candidate elected to the Rajya Sabha recently. We are now helping our alliance partner (CPI-ML).' After the Mahagathbandhan candidates, it was the turn of Mangal Pandey, besides BJP debutantes Anamika Singh Patel and Lal Mohan Gupta to file their nomination papers.

They filed their nomination papers in the presence of Samrat Choudhary, Deputy Chief Minister and state BJP president, besides Jitan Ram Manjhi, ex-CM, whose HAM is an NDA partner and whose son Santosh Suman is also seeking re-election to the legislative council.

Suman, who is a minister in the Nitish Kumar cabinet, filed his nomination papers last week, along with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and JD(U) MLC Khalid Anwar.

The last date for withdrawal of nomination papers is March 14 and voting, if required, will take place on March 21. PTI NAC SOM

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