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Purnea LS seat imbroglio: Pappu Yadav adamant to contest despite ally RJD's Bima filing nomination

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Patna, Apr 3 (PTI) Former MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, who recently joined the Congress, on Wednesday stuck to his stand of contesting from Bihar's Purnea Lok Sabha seat despite ally RJD's Bima Bharti filing her nomination papers.

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In a post on X, he said, "Tomorrow, everybody please come to give your blessings during the filing of nomination. Pappu Yadav will be in the fray for Purnea's dignity. Some people are so angry with Purnea that they will do anything to insult her. My mother Purnea will respond by making them lose their deposits on April 26 (date of voting)." Meanwhile, Bharti, who joined the RJD less than a month ago, was accompanied by Tejashwi Yadav, former Bihar deputy chief minister and heir apparent of Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad, while filing her nomination papers.

Tejashwi Yadav also addressed a rally at Purnea, urging people to vote for Bharti, a former minister and sitting MLA who recently quit the JD(U) headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Pappu Yadav has been asserting that he will contest from the seat he had won thrice in the 1990s, with the claim of "assurances" from Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi.

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A party hopper, Pappu Yadav is married to Congress Rajya Sabha MP Ranjit Ranjan. He joined the party a fortnight ago, along with his son Sarthak, merging the Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) founded in 2015, which boasted of an army of stormtroopers but never achieved electoral success.

Notably, JAP was floated a year after Yadav won Madhepura Lok Sabha seat on an RJD ticket, only to break up with the party. Mindful of the fact that his induction into Congress may be frowned upon by Lalu Prasad, Yadav had sought the ailing septuagenarian's blessings before joining the national party.

However, the wily RJD supremo struck back, claiming for his party not just Purnea and Madhepura but also Supaul, which Ranjit Ranjan formerly represented, thereby thwarting Yadav's chances of fighting as a Congress candidate from any of the seats where he had a fair chance of winning.

Yadav appeared to be hoping against hope when he, a few days ago, expressed the wish for a "friendly fight" in Purnea, citing the example of Wayanad in Kerala where Rahul Gandhi's re-election is being challenged by Annie Raja of CPI, despite the party being an INDIA bloc ally like the Congress.

The Congress' Bihar unit, however, seems reluctant for any type of fight with RJD, on which it has become heavily dependent over the years, having itself become a spent force in the state. PTI NAC ACD

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