For the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) candidate and All India Congress Committee secretary Ranjeet Ranjan, retaining the Supaul Lok Sabha seat this time appears to be a tough challenge as discontentment among leaders of alliance partner Rashtriya Janata Dal and resentment among local people are running high against her.Though the State’s Grand Alliance leaders are trying to dispel the “confusion and chaos” against Ms. Ranjan, her fight against NDA candidate Dileshwar Kamait, contesting on a Janata Dal (United) ticket, seems evenly poised. Supaul goes to poll in the third phase on April 23. In the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, Ms. Ranjan had defeated Mr. Kamait by over 55,000 votes and the then BJP candidate, Kameshwar Chaupal, had finished third. “In this election, the JD(U) and BJP votes have got combined against the Congress candidate and she will have to struggle hard to retain the seat,” said Maheshwar Yadav, a businessman from Pipra. Besides, he added, “The issue of Balakot air strike and nationalism too runs high among the young voters.”RJD vote bank In the last election, Ms. Ranjan had won with the support of the RJD vote bank. However, this time the local RJD leaders are not keen to support Ms. Ranjan as her husband Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, the sitting MP from the neighbouring constituency of Madhepura, is contesting from there as an Independent candidate.The RJD leaders of Supaul want him to withdraw his nomination in favour of the Mahagathbandhan candidate from the seat, Sharad Yadav. “How can we support Ranjeet Ranjan here in Supaul when her husband is contesting against our candidate in Madhepura? As a reciprocal gesture, Pappu Yadav should withdraw his nomination from Madhepura, otherwise we will remain silent and neutral,” said a local RJD leader.Earlier, an RJD MLA from Pipra and party’s district president Yaduvansh Yadav had threatened to file his nomination as an Independent candidate against Ms. Ranjan but later, after the intervention of RJD and Congress leaders, he agreed to drop the plan.Message to Pappu YadavSources in the local RJD told The Hindu that the RJD MLA was acting at the behest of the party’s top leadership to send a message to Mr. Pappu Yadav to “remain in his limits”. The Madhepura MP has relentlessly attacked RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and party chief Lalu Prasad. “Though the local RJD leaders and supporters are not opposing Ranjeet Ranjan, they have become silent and neutral,” said Ramadhin Yadav of Supaul bazaar area.Supaul Lok Sabha constituency has a sizeable number of Yadav and Extremely Backward Class voters.The Congress nominee is also grappling with the resentment of the local people who complain about her absence from the constituency. “After winning the poll last time she settled down in Delhi. She hardly visited here to know about our problems,” rued voters of Triveniganj, Chhatapur and Pipra areas. But they also admitted that Ms. Ranjan has been working hard to retain the seat. “Let’s see what happens,” they said.“Initially there was an attempt to create confusion among the Grand Alliance rank and file after Pappu Yadav refused to reconsider his nomination [from Madhepura], but things became smooth after the intervention of senior leaders from the RJD and the Congress,” State Congress president Madan Mohan Jha told journalists recently.Ms. Ranjan too exuded confidence that she was getting “full cooperation” from the local RJD leaders and said they too have been given key poll responsibilities.