PATNA: Even as the Election Commission (EC) is yet to announce the date for byelection in the Samastipur Lok Sabha constituency, LJP’s youth wing national president Prince Raj has started campaigning in the area in the hope that his party will field him from the reserved seat, which fell vacant after the demise of his father Ramchandra Paswan in July this year. Prince is the nephew of LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan.
Prince visited Samastipur last week and held a meeting with some senior leaders of JD(U), an ally in Bihar . He also met some diehard LJP supporters and convinced them about his probable candidature from the reserved seat, which his father had won in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Prince had announced at the time of ‘ashthi visarjan’ (immersion of ashes) of his late father at Moksha Ghat on the banks of Gandak river that he would not shy away from the responsibility if the party and people of the constituency wished him for.
“If the party leadership thinks so, I am ready to accept the ‘chunauti’ (challenges). I will try to come up to the expectations of the people here,” senior LJP leader Umashankar Mishra quoted Prince as having told the gathering on the occasion.
Mishra, who is LJP’s Samastipur town president, said though a final decision on the candidate will be taken by the top leaders of the NDA comprising BJP, JD(U) and LJP, the possibility of Prince being fielded as the successor of Ramchandra Paswan can’t be ruled out.
Heera Jha, who was PA to the late MP, corroborated Mishra’s views. “He (Prince) has closely been associated with the people of the constituency. He used to look after the electioneering of his late father,” Jha said. He also said Prince has held a series of meetings with the party workers and office-bearers in different assembly segments of Samastipur Lok Sabha constituency after the death of his father. The meetings were held at Singhia, Hayaghat and Kusheshwarsthan, he said.
Prince had unsuccessfully contested the state assembly election from Kalyanpur reserved seat in Samastipur district in 2015 when JD(U) was not the part of NDA. He had lost to Maheshwar Hazari of JD(U), who is a minister in the Nitish Kumar cabinet.
Maheshwar had won the Samastipur Lok Sabha seat in 2009 on a JD(U) ticket but lost to Ramchandra in 2014. JD(U) was not part of the NDA in 2014 elections. Hazari is also a close relative of Paswans.
Prince, who has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Madurai Kamraj University and a master’s degree in international business from Hertfordshire, is scheduled to address another party workers meeting at Surhachatti under Hayaghat assembly segment on Tuesday.