Jolt to Congress; Shakeel Ahmad to contest as Independent

Patna: Congress leader and former Union Minister Shakeel Ahmad on Monday said he will contest the Lok Sabha elections as an Independent candidate from Bihar’s Madhubani seat.

Ahmad, who was unhappy after his traditional seat of Madhubani went to ally VIP under a seat-sharing formula of the Grand Alliance, said he will file his nomination papers on Tuesday.

“I have demanded the support of the party. If the party high command does not extend support, I will contest as an Independent,” Ahmad told the media at his residence in Madhubani.

Ahmad pointed out that a Rashtriya Janata Dal (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?”

Ranjan is the Congress sitting MP from Supaul.

Ahmad said that the Grand Alliance candidate in Madhubani cannot defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate in Madhubani.

Ashok Yadav, son of BJP MP Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav, is the BJP candidate in Madhubani.

“Congress leaders and workers are with me. I will have to contest to defeat the BJP in Madhubani,” he said.

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.