Bihar MLA Sarfaraz quits JD-U, joins RJD; to contest Araria LS bypoll

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Patna, Feb 10 (IANS) In a move seen as a setback to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ahead of the Araria Lok Sabha bypoll next month, ruling JD-U MLA Sarfaraz Alam on Saturday resigned from the party and the membership of Bihar Legislative Assembly to join the RJD.

Alam was a Janata Dal-United (JD-U) legislator from Jokihat in Araria district of Bihar and one of the prime aspirants to contest the bypoll to Araria seat, which fell vacant following the death of his father Mohammad Taslimuddin, a Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP.

In a dramatic development, he joined the RJD in presence of senior party leader Shivanand Tiwary here. It was Tiwary who informed the media about the resignation of Alam as JD-U MLA and as the member of Bihar Legislative Assembly.

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“After my father’s death, my mother was telling me to join the party of which my father was a founder member. It is due to the desire of my mother that I am back to my old home,” Alam said after joining the RJD.

Earlier, soon after he resigned from the JD-U, Alam called on Rabri Devi, former Chief Minister and wife of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, at her official residence 10, Circular Road here.

However, after meeting her, Alam said it was just a courtesy call and that there was nothing more to it.

“It is certain that I will contest Araria bypoll but people of the constituency will decide from which party,” Alam had told the media.

He said he resigned due to pressure from people. “I have acted in line with the sentiments of people of my constituency.”

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Soon after Alam resigned from the JD-U, RJD leader and Leader of Opposition in state assembly Tejashwi Yadav said in a tweet that one more legislator of Nitish Kumar had resigned and that more would follow the suit.

In fact, a day before joing the RJD, Alam was seen with Tejashwi Yadav on Friday, fuelling speculation that he was getting close to him.

JD-U spokesperson Ajay Alok, however, said Alam’s resignation was not at all a setback for the party.

According to leaders close to Alam, the JD-U ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will contest Araria bypoll and the JD-U does not have guts to challenge it.

“Araria has been a stronghold of Sarfaraz’s father Taslimuddin for over three decades. He will have to contest the bypoll to protect his father political legacy. RJD has offered him his father’s seat,” said an Alam aide.

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In 2016, Alam hit the headlines as he was suspended from the JD-U for allegedly misbehaving with a couple on a running train. Later, he was even arrested but released on bail.

–IANS

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