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Former member of Parliament (MP) Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav on Thursday filed his nomination for Bihar’s Purnea Lok Sabha constituency days after he merged his party with the Congress and hoped to be the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA)’s candidate for the seat.

Pappu Yadav merged his party with the Congress last month. (PTI)

The Purnea seat was allocated to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which is contesting 26 of Bihar’s 40 seats and the Congress nine. The Left parties have got the remaining seats.

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Yadav said he is symbolic to Purnea and vice versa. “Today for the first time, neither there is an organisation, nor religion, nor caste. There is just humanity. I made no mistake. I always stood with everyone in all difficulties. I will work hard to fight corruption and develop Seemanchal and Kosi for the rest of my life,” he said after filing his nomination.

“I have been tortured and distressed during the last 14 days but I have won the country’s heart. Winning elections does not matter to me…winning the trust of the country does and I have won the trust of Bihar.” He insisted the Congress was with him. “I have won their trust and I will be with this family forever.”

Yadav insisted he remained a dedicated Congress worker. “My only aim is to make Rahul Gandhi the Prime Minister and to strengthen the Congress in Bihar.” When asked whether he is contesting as an independent, he said, “Only time will tell.”

Yadav said he would continue to work to strengthen Congress and INDIA bloc in Bihar. “Though I am not contesting on Congress ticket, we all have the one goal of ousting [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi from power.”

Yadav said a leader must shun politics of hatred. “He should also have met me, I am not his enemy,” he said without naming RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who accompanied his party’s Purnea candidate Bima Bharti when she filed her nomination on Wednesday. Pappu Yadav alleged that some leaders wanted him to die a political death. “…but Purnea would give them a befitting reply in the elections.”

Bihar Congress chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh said the seat-sharing deal has been finalised. “If any Congress leader files nomination outside of their nine seats, the party will not support the candidate.”

Bihar Congress spokesperson Rajesh Rathore said Pappu Yadav is not a Congress nominee. “The party is united in support of Bima Bharti in Purnea.”

Purnea will go to the polls in the second phase of Lok Sabha polls on April 26. Thursday was the last day for nomination for this phase. Janata Dal (United) has renominated two-time MP Santosh Kumar from Purnea.

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