BSP drops sitting MP, to field Chandra Shekhar’s grandson from Salempur

The BSP will field former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar's grandson Ravishankar Singh 'Pappu' from Salempur constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, replacing Ramashankar Rajbhar, the sitting MP from the seat.

Party's zonal coordinator, Vijay Pratap, said a decision to field Singh from Salempur was taken last month.

In 2009 general elections, Rajbhar had defeated the Congress candidate from seat by 18,305 votes, while Singh, who had contested as a JD(U) nominee from the same seat, had polled 89,612 votes and stood fourth.

Singh, the grandson of Chandra Shekhar's younger brother Ramnagina Singh, had later switched over to the BSP. He was soon granted ticket from Ballia (local) for legislative council elections in 2010. He won the seat and is the sitting MLC.

A BSP leader requesting anonymity said by fielding Singh — he is considered close to former SP leader Amar Singh — the party hopes to corner Kshatriya votes in Salempur constituency that comprises parts of Deoria and Ballia districts.

The neighbouring Ballia Lok Sabha seat is held by SP's Neeraj Shekhar, who is the son of Chandra Shekhar.

Contacted, Rajbhar said he has not been told why his name has been dropped. "This is a decision taken by Behenji (BSP supremo Mayawati). I do not know the reason for it. The party will assign me some other responsibility and I will perform that," he said.

Rajbhar is the fourth sitting MP of the BSP to have been dropped from the list of prospective candidates for the next year's elections. The party has named Kamlesh Shukla from Deoria in place of sitting MP Gorakh Prasad Jaiswal. Kairana MP Tabassum Hassan has been replaced with Qamar Hassan after her son Nahid Munawwar was announced by the Samajwadi Party as its candidate from the same seat. Hamirpur MP Vijay Bahadur Singh has been replaced with Rakesh Goswami.

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