Triangular contests on three Lok Sabha seats in Bihar

Patna, April 11 (IANS) Out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, a one-to-one contest is expected between the NDA and INDIA bloc in maximum constituencies.

However, triangular contests are taking place in three Lok Sabha constituencies in the state: Karakat, Purnea, and Kishanganj. As a result, prominent leaders like Upendra Kushwaha (Rashtriya Lok Morcha-RLM), Bima Bharti (Rashtriya Janata Dal-RJD) and Dr Javed Azad (Congress) will face tough challenges in this election.

Karkat Lok Sabha constituency

In Karakat, Upendra Kushwaha was contesting as an NDA candidate and challenging Rajaram Singh (CPI-ML) of the grand opposition alliance. However, on Wednesday, Bhojpuri 'power star' Pawan Singh decided to enter the electoral arena on a BJP ticket, making it a triangular contest.

Upendra Kushwaha and Rajaram Singh come from the Kushwaha community, which has a sizable number of voters in this constituency.

Pawan Singh belongs to an upper-caste community, however, he has a big fan following in the rural areas of Bhojpur, Rohtas, Aurangabad, Kaimur etc. Upper-caste voters are considered the core vote bank of BJP. Due to this, the entry of Pawan Singh may create hurdles for Upendra Kushwaha in this election.

Karakat Lok Sabha seat has around three lakh Yadav voters, around two lakh Rajputs, 3.5 lakh Kushwahas and two lakh Guptas as voters. Besides, there is a sizable number of voters from the Bhumihar, Dalit, Mahadalit and Kurmi communities.

The Karakat Lok Sabha seat was established in 2008 after the delimitation process. Previously, it was recognised as the Vikram Lok Sabha constituency. The Karakat Lok Sabha seat comprises six Assembly constituencies, namely Karakat, Dehri, and Nokha (all located in the Rohtas district) and Nabinagar, Obra, and Goh (all situated in the Aurangabad district).

In 2014, Upendra Kushwaha (from Rashtriya Lok Samta Party-RLSP) won the election as an NDA candidate for this seat. However, in 2019, luck did not favour him and he lost.

Purnea Lok Sabha constituency

The battle of Purnea is most important in Bihar. Initially, it appeared that the contest would take place between NDA candidate Santosh Kushwaha (JD-U) and Bima Bharti (RJD) of INDIA bloc. However, after Pappu Yadav’s entry as an Independent candidate in Purnea, the contest became triangular.

Pappu Yadav was expecting a ticket from Congress, but the seat went to RJD. Following this, he filed for nomination as an Independent candidate. Yadav has strongholds in the Seemanchal and Kosi regions of Bihar and may cut the core vote bank (Yadav) of RJD in these polls.

Kishanganj Lok Sabha constituency

Kishanganj is another seat where a triangular contest is expected. From NDA, Mujahid Alam is contesting on a JD-U ticket and Dr Jawed Azad, a sitting MP, is the INDIA bloc candidate. He is contesting on a Congress ticket. The entry of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) candidate Akhtarul Iman has made the contest triangular here.

During the 2020 Assembly election, AIMIM won five seats and cut the votes of the Opposition in more than 20 seats. The situation seems to be repeating this time as well.

The AIMIM has good foothold in the Muslim-dominant Kishanganj and other parts of the Seemanchal region, and its presence may create difficulties for RJD and Congress.


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