Shatrughan Sinha Likely To Be Replaced by Ravi Shankar Prasad As BJP Candidate: Sources

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Shatrughan Sinha has been meeting the Bihar grand alliance leaders (File)


Patna Sahib Lawmaker Shatrughan Sinha, who over the years have attacked his party–the BJP–and its central leadership, may be replaced by Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad as the party candidate from the constituency, sources say. Mr Sinha may contest the Lok Sabha elections as the grand alliance or independent candidate as he has said time and again that he would contest polls from Patna Sahib. "As far as elections are concerned, Patna is my first, second and last choice," Mr Sinha had recently said.

Mr Sinha has parried questions as to his future course of action, however, he has been meeting the Bihar grand alliance leaders. He recently met RJD chief Lalu Yadav's family. He attended Mamata Banerjee's rally in January as a representative of former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha's newly formed party.

Shatrughan Sinha, who won elections in 2014 on BJP's ticket, had a fall out with the party leadership when he was not included in the cabinet. Since then, he has been making adverse comments at the party and its leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Ravi Shankar Prasad is a Rajya Sabha member from Bihar.

Keeping with its seat-sharing formula in the state, the BJP has given 17 seats to the Janata Dal (United) – including its traditional constituencies of Gaya, Siwan and Katihar – while keeping an equal number for itself. However, the BJP has refused to part with Darbhanga, which Chief Minister Nitish Kumar wanted for his close aide, Sanjay Jha, sources said.

For the BJP, all Union Ministers from Bihar – barring Giriraj Singh – will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from their old constituencies, the BJP has decided, according to sources. This time, Mr Singh will stand from Begusarai instead of Nawada, which has gone to the Janata Dal (United) as part of their seat-sharing arrangement in the state.

From Madhubani, the BJP has decided to give the ticket to Ashok Yadav, who is the son of Hukumdev Narayan Yadav. BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy will be fielded from Chhapra. Another BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain may not get the ticket. State BJP chief Nityanand Rai is likely contest from Ujiyarpur.

The Janata Dal (United) will contest from Nalanda, Purnea, Gopalganj, Siwan,Valmiki Nagar, Jhankharpur, Sitamarhi, Supaul, Kishanganj, Madhepura, Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Karakat, Munger, Gaya and Jehanabad, leaving Hajipur, Jamui, Vaishali, Samastipur, Khagaria and Nawada for the Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party.

The general election is scheduled to be held from April 11 to May 19. Polling in Bihar will be conducted in seven phases.

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