Patna, June 24: A Mumbai-based businessman and a party-hopper were among three RJD candidates who filed their nomination papers on Wednesday for the Bihar legislative council elections.
Mohd Farooq alias Farooq Shaikh, Rambali Singh Chandravanshi, and Sunil Kumar Singh filed their nomination papers at the Vidhan Sabha secretariat here in presence of the leader of the opposition Tejashwi Yadav.
The party, which appeared to be still recovering from the shock of losing its five sitting MLCs to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U), had not shared the names of the candidates with the media before they filed their papers.
After the formalities were over, a visibly shaken Yadav told reporters, "The developments of yesterday might benefit Nitish Kumar but the people of Bihar stand to gain nothing from such machinations".
Pointing towards the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis due to the lockdown, Yadav alleged that Kumar had failed to rise to the challenge.
"The people of Bihar are with us and they will give a befitting reply to the ruling NDA", said the 30-year-old RJD leader whom his party has named its Chief Ministerial candidates for the assembly polls later this year.
Elections are underway for nine Vidhan Parishad seats falling under the Vidhan Sabha constituency. Names of the RJD candidates were cleared by its jailed founding president Lalu Prasad whom the party's parliamentary board had authorized to take a call.
The selection is reflective of the RJD's aim to maintain its sway over the Muslims and win over non-Yadav OBCs and upper castes.
Sunil Kumar Singh, a Rajput by caste and a known loyalist of the RJD supremo, has been actively associated with the cooperative movement in Bihar and currently heads the BISCOMAUN (Bihar State Cooperative Marketing Union).
Mohd Farooq has a flourishing real estate business in the western metropolis and is little known in political circles of Bihar, including to the rank and file of the party which has fielded him. RJD sources said he hails from Sheohar district.
Rambali Singh Chandravanshi is a professor at the Bihar National College here and is said to have tried his luck in many parties before joining the RJD a few years ago which appointed him as the president of its EBC cell.
Nominations of Farooq and Chandravanshi provided the BJP with ammunition to train its guns at the opposition party.
BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand came out with a tweet recalling a case lodged against Chandravanshi in March this year by a student who had accused the professor of having sodomized him.
In another tweet, the BJP spokesman called Farooq a "hawala kingpin" and shared a report carried by a business daily two years ago when he was arrested by ED in a money laundering case involving a staggering amount Rs 2,253 crore.