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Giriraj to meet Nitish Kumar Thursday evening, visit Begusarai

Patna | BJP leader Giriraj Singh, who apparently went into a sulk upon being asked to contest from a Lok Sabha seat other than the one he held and fell in line after a meeting with party chief Amit Shah, will call on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday evening.

The meeting will be followed by his visit to Begusarai on Friday where he will take on former JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar.

“Appointment has been fixed with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at 5 P.M. Many thanks to the honourable chief minister for sparing his time,” Singh tweeted.

The meeting with Kumar, of whom he had been a fierce critic since the days he served as a minister in the state cabinet, assumes significance as return of the chief ministers JD(U) to the BJP-led coalition had led to circumstances which made Singh forgo his Nawada seat.

The JD(U), which is contesting on 17 seats, the same number as the BJP, had insisted on having the Munger seat from where it is fielding Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan a close aide of Kumar, who had won the seat in 2009 and was the runner-up five years later.

Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP, which held Munger, agreed to give up the seat in exchange for Nawada. Mafia don-turned-politician Suraj Bhan Singh’s wife was the MP from Munger and the party has now fielded his brother from Nawada.

Singh was given Begusarai which has a large population of Bhumihars, the community to which he belongs. He also wanted to contest the seat in 2014 but moved to Nawada upon the party’s direction and achieved victory in his first Lok Sabha election.

Begusarai fell vacant a few months ago following the death of the incumbent Bhola Singh. However, Giriraj Singh felt slighted as he happened to be the only BJP Union minister from Bihar, who has been made to give up his sitting seat.

Others Ashwini Kumar Choubey, R K Singh and Radha Mohan Singh are seeking re-election from their respective seats.

The JD(U)s support would be crucial for Singh in Begusarai as the party had won the seat in 2004 and 2009. The CPI, which had finished third in 2014 and yet managed to secure close to two lakh votes, has this time fielded Kanhaiya Kumar who belongs to the same caste as Singh.

Lalu Prasad’s RJD, which had said before the elections that it would support Kanhaiya Kumar if fielded from Begusarai, has now changed its stance and is likely to field Tanveer Hassan, the runner-up of 2014, who may benefit from a division of Bhumihar votes between Kumar and Singh.

Meanwhile, Singh is also set to begin his campaign in Begusarai from Friday where polling is scheduled in the fourth phase of elections and the filing of nominations will commence on April 2 while voting will take place on April 29.

“All patriots are welcome to Begusarai. I will depart from Patna for my karmabhoomi Begusarai Friday,” Singh said in another tweet.

In yet another tweet he announced, “I will file my nomination from Begusarai on April 06.”

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