Subhashini Raj Rao, daughter of LJD chief and former Union Minister Sharad Yadav, joined Congress today ahead of the Bihar Assembly elections. 30-year-old Rao says she is a social worker. She will be contesting for the election from the  Biharganj seat of the Madhepura Lok Sabha constituency. Sharad Yadav has represented the Madhepura seat four times, although from a different political party. Rao joined the party today at the Congress Party headquarters in 24 Akbar Road, New Delhi, in front of local leaders. Bihar State unit chief Madan Mohan Jha was also present.

Rao has joined Congress despite the fact that her father Sharad Yadav is a part of Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) who was denied alliance both by Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). In this election, Sharad Yadav-led LJD is contesting on its own. Speaking about her decision to join a party different from that of her father, Rao told The Hindu that her decision does not follow any personal grudges or an intention to avenge her father. “This election is only about development and bringing about a change in the State,” she said.

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Rao believes that joining politics and the Bihar Assembly election is her moral responsibility as she wants to carry her father’s political legacy further.

As per a report by NDTV, she upholds the idea of “Mahagathbandhan” (Grand Alliance of the parties) which her father Sharad Yadav has always supported and fought for. Since Yadav cannot actively take part in the election, Rao intends to continue his fight to promote and establish the “Mahagathbandhan” government in Bihar.

“He has always supported the ”Mahagathbandhan”. It is my responsibility to take this fight forward and to take Bihar to greater heights,” she said. Although, as Rao said, her father will be addressing the virtual rallies. Reportedly, Congress, CPI and CPM are a part of a “Mahagathbandhan” with RJD.

Moreover, she also expressed gratitude to Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi of Congress for giving her the opportunity of joining their party. She also spoke about her father, Yadav’s expulsion from Janata Dal-United (JD(U)) and said, “My father is one of the founding members of the JD(U). And his so-called expulsion from the party is still a subjudice matter, so I would not like to comment on it.”

Sharad Yadav was expelled from JDU because he openly criticised the current Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar for rejoining National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Nitish Kumar had broken his alliance with NDA to form a Mahagathbandhan government with Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD in 2015. But later he joined NDA back.

Reportedly, nearly one-fifth of the candidates of Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) contesting for the election this year are women. There are 19 women in a total of 115 candidates in JD(U). Moreover, the list of 35 candidates released by BJP also includes a significant number of women candidates who will be contesting for Bihar election. The names of women candidates in BJP include Bhagirathi Devi, Gayatri Devi, Rashmi Verma, Nisha Singh, Kavita Paswan and Sweety Singh.

Bihar assembly election is contesting with 243 seats. The election will be held in three phases, the first phase will be on October 28, second on November 3 and third on November 7. The results will be declared on November 10.

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