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Bihar NDA puts off press meet; may name by-poll nominees later


Press Trust of India Patna
The ruling NDA in Bihar on Friday cited "unavoidable circumstances" to put off a joint press meet, where names of candidates of the JD(U), the BJP and the LJP for the upcoming by-polls were likely to be announced.
A communication to this effect was issued by the JD(U)'s state headquarters, though it did not give any next tentative date for the conference, which was to be addressed jointly by the party's state president Vashishth Narayan Singh, BJP state vice-president Devesh Kumar and LJP parliamentary board chairman Chirag Paswan.
Sources in the NDA said on the condition of anonymity that announcement of candidates was likely to take place on Sunday, a day after "Pitri Paksha" - a fortnight considered inauspicious - comes to an end.
By-elections will be held for five assembly segments, besides the Samastipur Lok Sabha seat which fell vacant upon the death of sitting LJP MP Ram Chandra Paswan, younger brother of the party's founding president Ram Vilas Paswan.
By-polls to five assembly segments - four held by the JD(U) and one by the Congress - have been necessitated following the election of sitting MLAs to the Lok Sabha.
On Thursday, the JD(U) state president had hinted that a broad understanding had been reached among the alliance partners with regard to seat distribution.
"The JD(U) will contest all its sitting seats. The LJP will field its candidate in Samastipur so that it may retain its seat. In Kishanganj, which is held by the Congress, the BJP will join the fray," Singh had said.
The NDA, which has ruled Bihar since 2005, barring a four-year gap when the JD(U) ceased to be a part of the coalition, re-asserted its supremacy in the state in the Lok Sabha polls this year when it won 39 out of 40 seats - one of the best performances by any political alliance in the state.
In the by-elections, the coalition faces a tottering Grand Alliance, which is yet to reach a consensus on candidate nomination as its five constituents - RJD, Congress, RLSP, HAM and VIP - continue to make competing claims.
As per the schedule drawn by the Election Commission, filing of nominations for all the six seats comes to a close on September 30.

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 3:40 PM IST

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