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Bihar NDA names candidates for 39 seats, BJP replaces Shatrughan Sinha with Ravi Shankar Prasad for Patna Sahib

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Bihar’s ruling NDA on Saturday announced candidates for 39 out of the total 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

The lone seat for which a candidate was not announced was Khagaria.

The announcement was made at a joint press conference addressed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state-in-charge Bhupinder Yadav here in the presence of leaders from the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).

The BJP has dropped actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha from his Patna Sahib seat and instead fielded Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in his place.

Sinha won the seat in 2014.

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LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan will not contest from Hajipur seat, the party has fielded Paswan’s younger brother Pasupati Kumar Paras, a Bihar Minister and state LJP president, in his place.

Ram Vilas Paswan’s son Chirag will contest from Jamui, while another brother Ram Chandra Paswan is being fielded from the Samastipur seat that he won in 2014.

The BJP has shifted its firebrand leader and Union Minister Giriraj Singh from Nawada to Begusarai. Nawada went to the LJP under the seat sharing formula.

“All the Union Ministers from BJP including Radha Mohan Singh from Motihari, Ram Kirpal Yadav from Patliputra, Ashwani Choubey from Buxar, R.K. Singh from Ara, were given tickets,” Yadav said.

Only one Muslim candidate figures in the NDA list. The JD-U has fielded Mahmood Ashraf from Kishanganj.

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The NDA had earlier officially announced the seat-sharing formula for the Lok Sabha elections.

According to the agreement, the JD-U and BJP will contest 17 seats each and the LJP the rest of the six seats.

The JD-U is contesting Valmikinagar, Sitamarhi, Jhanjharpur, Supaul, Kishanganj, Katihar, Purnea, Madhepura, Bhagalpur, Gopalganj, Banka, Munger, Nalanda, Gaya, Jehanabad, Siwan and Karakat parliamentary seats.

The BJP is contesting West Champaran, East Champaran, Sheohar, Madhubani, Araria, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Maharajganj, Saran, Ujiyarpur, Begusarai, Sasaram, Aurangabad, Buxar, Ara, Patna Saheb and Patliputra constituencies.

The LJP is contesting the Vaishali, Hajipur, Jamui, Khagaria, Samastipur and Nawada seats.

The BJP has ceded to the JD-U five seats — Valmikinagar, Gaya, Siwan, Gopalganj and Jhanjharpur — that it won in 2014.

The BJP-led NDA won 31 of the 40 seats in the state in 2014. Of this, the BJP won 22 seats, the LJP six and the Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) three.

The RLSP has joined the Opposition Grand Alliance this time.

The JD-U, not part of the NDA then, had contested the 2014 elections on its own and won only two seats — Purnea and Nawada.

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Sonia Gandhi launches scathing attack on BJP, says CAA will destroy soul of India

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New Delhi: Congress interim Chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday accused the Narendra Modi government of dividing the country and said that the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act will destroy the soul of India.

Addressing the Bharat Bachao Rally at the Ramlila maidan here, Sonia Gandhi said, “They brought CAA, it will destroy and shatter the soul of India.”

She also accused the Modi government of not respecting Parliament and constitutional institutions.

“This government has no respect for Parliament and no respect for the institutions. Their only agenda is to divide the people and make them fight,” she alleged.

Slamming the government for revoking Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, that gave a special status to the erstwhile state and bifurcating it into two Union territories and for bringing the CAA, she said, “Now such a time has come that they change a law and change the status of a state. Everyday the Constitution is being shattered.”

Highlighting the role of freedom fighters in the freedom struggle, she said that they fought for this country and its Constitution.

“And it is being destroyed now. But Congress will stand with all,” she said.

She also questioned why the Navratna companies of the central government were being sold and to whom they were being sold?

She pointed out that now people fear putting money in banks and the condition of the farmers across the country was very disturbing.

“To save democracy we are ready to give any sacrifice and to save Constitution we are ready to struggle,” she said, adding, “Congress will not now bow down and it will fight till last breath to save democracy and Constitution.”

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also slammed the government over the economic crisis and accused it of failing to fulfil the promises it made to the youths and the farmers.

He lambasted the government over the economic crisis and said, “They said that the Indian economy will become $5 trillion economy by 2024 and two crore employment to youths every year.”

“Now all this has proved false and it has been proved that they lied to the nation,” the former Prime Minister said.

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