No thanks, says NK Singh to Nitish Kumar for Lok Sabha election

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NK-SinghRetired bureaucrat NK Singh, who was denied a renomination to the Rajya Sabha by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, spurned the Janata Dal United’s offer to field him from the Banka parliamentary constituency in the general elections due by May.

Mr. Singh, 73, joins Shivanand Tiwari and Sabir Ali, the other two JDU leaders who were denied tickets to the House of Elders, in turning down Mr. Kumar’s suggestion that they contest Lok Sabha seats instead.

Mr. Singh was given the option of contesting from Banka in the state, while Mr. Tiwari, 71, was to be the JDU candidate from Buxar and Mr. Ali, 58, was asked to enter the electoral fray from Sheohar.

Mr. Singh wrote a terse one-page letter to the Bihar chief minister, expressing his surprise at the Banka offer.

“This offer was indeed surprising, albeit a cavalier one, since I had undertaken no preparatory work in the constituency….. Foisting any individual without prior consultation with the constituents may be grossly unfair to them,” he wrote.

Mr. Tiwari had, in a letter to state JD(U) president Vashishta Narayan Singh, hit out at the chief minister, alleging that he was denied a ticket because Nitish Kumar “does not like me.”

Mr. Ali, a Mumbai-based businessman, too is said to have favoured playing safe.

The Janata Dal (United) had won of 20 of Bihar’s 40 Lok Sabha seats in 2009. But this time Nitish Kumar has a tough battle on his hands in the general elections. He has to contend with the likely renewal of a partnership between the Congress and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, and the former partner BJP coming back strongly after the JD(U) broke its 17-year alliance with it last year.