Fatmi quits RJD, will contest as an independent



Former Union Minister Ali Ashraf Fatmi formally quit the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Wednesday, a day after he resigned from all party posts.

Fatmi announced his resignation from the RJD in Darbhanga, just a day ahead of the second phase of Lok Sabha polls in Bihar's Seemanchal region, which has a sizeable number of Muslim voters.

Fatmi, a four-time RJD MP from Darbhanga, said the RJD had assured him ticket from Madhubani after it fielded senior leader Abdul Bari Suddiqui from Darbhanga, but it never came. Ahmad was unhappy after Madhubani, his traditional seat, was allocated to the VIP, a member of Grand Alliance, under the seat-sharing formula.

He criticised RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav for expelling him from the party for six years without a show-cause notice. He also said why no action was taken against Lalu's elder son Tej Pratap Yadav for speaking against the RJD.

Fatmi announced on Tuesday he would contest as Independent from Madhubani and file his nomination papers on April 18.

Congress leader and former Union Minister Shakeel Ahmad also on Monday announced that he would be contesting the Lok Sabha elections as Independent from Madhubani.

As per the seat-sharing formula announced on March 22, the RJD will contest 19 of the 40 seats in Bihar, the Congress nine and the smaller parties the rest.

Bihar will go to polls in seven phases, starting on April 11. IANS