Grand alliance names 242 candidates for Bihar polls

Patna/New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) The grand alliance of Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress on Wednesday released the first list for the Bihar elections, naming all but one candidate for the state’s 243 assembly constituencies, while seeking to balance caste equations in view of their support base.

According to a press release issued by the grand alliance, 55 percent of the 242 candidates belong to Other Backward Classes and Economically Backward Classes, 16 percent belong to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, 14 percent are Muslim, and the rest are from general or upper castes. About 10 percent of the candidates are women.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar along with RJD state president Ram Chandra Purve and state Congress president Ashok Choudhary announced the list at a joint press conference here. The JD-U and RJD are contesting 101 seats each while the Congress will be in the fray for the remaining 41 seats.

Nitish Kumar said the name of remaining one candidate would be announced soon.

“We have tried to ensure representation to all sections of society. There are no complaints within the grand alliance over the names of candidates and seat adjustments,” he said.

Nitish Kumar has made it clear that development was the main agenda for the polls while the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was only interested in creating divisions on the basis of religion and caste.

In New Delhi, the Congress released its list of 41 candidates, which has a sizeable representation of Muslims.

The list released by party general secretary Madhusudan Mistry contains 10 candidates from the community.

The party has fielded eight candidates in the first phase of Bihar polls, six in second phase, seven in third phase, eight in fourth phase and 12 in the fifth phase.

Polling will be held in Bihar between October 12 and November 5. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 8.

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