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Shakeel Ahmed Khan is Bihar Congress Legislature Party leader

PATNA: Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed Khan was on Saturday elected as the leader of its legislature party (Congress Legislature Party, CLP) in Bihar in an apparent bid by the party to send out a message to the minorities ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha polls.

According to a communication issued by Congress’ Bihar unit, Khan was elected at a meeting of Congress legislators held at Sadaqat Ashram, the Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters.

Khan, 58, is serving his second consecutive term from Kadwa assembly segment of Katihar district. He joined Congress in 1999 and as AICC national secretary made his mark as one of the most vocal Congress leaders in Bihar, a state where the party has got reduced to the status of a marginal player over the years.

He succeeded Ajeet Sharma, the Bhagalpur lawmaker who was appointed CLP leader soon after the 2020 assembly polls.

The development comes at a time when Congress, RJD and JD(U) are all together in Bihar as part of the Mahagathbandhan ruling the state. The appointment of Khan may be seen as an attempt by Congress to reach out to Muslims, another community that has been supportive of it but of late has reposed trust in regional players like Lalu Prasad’s RJD and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) who have emerged as more effective bulwarks against BJP.

Sharma is a Bhumihar, an upper caste group to which BPCC Chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh too belongs. Bhumihars had been traditionally with the Congress but post-Mandal Commission has gravitated to BJP.


Source: Press Trust of India

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