BSP, Independents may play spoilsport for NDA and RJD-led alliance in Bihar

Patna, April 29 (IANS) During the first and second phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar, Independent candidates in Nawada and Purnea hurt the vote banks of NDA and RJD-led Mahagathbandhan and now candidates of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) may affect these two pivotal political forces in some of the constituencies in the state.

The Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance consists of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Indian National Congress (INC) and Left parties.

Gulab Yadav, the former RJD MLA is contesting on a BSP ticket in the Jhanjharpur Lok Sabha constituency. Sources have said that Gulab Yadav was expecting the ticket of Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) to contest the election. As the party has given the ticket to Suman Mahaseth, Yadav joined the BSP and is in the fray from the Jhanjharpur Lok Sabha constituency.

Gulab Yadav is considered a strong leader of Mithilanchal and has a connect with Yadav voters. Yadav was the RJD candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha election but he was defeated by JD-U candidate Rampreet Mandal. After that election, Yadav’s relationship with RJD turned sour. He worked hard in Jhanjharpur and Madhubani Lok Sabha constituencies and hoped for a ticket from RJD or VIP till the last moment. As the RJD gave the ticket to Ali Ashraf Fatmi to contest Madhubani and VIP gave the ticket to Suman Mahaseth, he joined BSP.

Gulab Yadav’s daughter Bindu Gulab Yadav is a district council president of Madhubani while his wife Ambika Gulab Yadav won the MLC election as an Independent candidate from Madhubani. His presence in Jhanjharpur may hurt the grand alliance candidate as the Yadavs are the core voters of RJD.

Jahanabad is another seat where two-time MP Prof Arun Kumar is contesting on BSP ticket. Kumar was expecting the ticket from Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) but as the seat went into the quota of JD-U, he resigned from LJP(R) and joined BSP.

Prof Arun Kumar has a stronghold in the Bhumihar caste in the Jahanabad region. As people of the Bhumihar caste are considered core voters of the BJP, his presence as a BSP candidate may hurt the JD-U candidate Chandeshwar Prasad Chandravansi. During the 2019 Lok Sabha election, he got 35000 votes as an Independent candidate.

BSP has some influence in the constituencies connected with the Uttar Pradesh border and it was proved in the 2020 assembly election when Jama Khan won the Chainpur seat on the BSP ticket. Chainpur assembly constituency comes under the Sasaram Lok Sabha constituency. BSP has given the ticket to Santosh Kumar to contest the election from the Sasaram Lok Sabha seat. During the 2019 Lok Sabha election, BSP gave the ticket to Manoj Kumar and he got 86406 votes. In 2014, Baleshwar Bharti of the BSP got around 32000 votes.

Now, Manoj Kumar is contesting on the Congress ticket and BJP has fielded Shivesh Ram in this Lok Sabha election. The contest is turning out interesting as Santosh Kumar is also in the fray on the BSP ticket and may hurt the grand alliance.

“BSP has some vote banks, especially in the constituencies connected with Uttar Pradesh. Sasaram, Karakat, Buxar, Gopalganj and Valmikinagar are some of the constituencies where BSP has some supporters and they may hurt the equations of NDA or grand alliance,” said SP Sharma, a professor of political science at Veer Kunwar Singh University, Bhojpur.

“As far as Gulab Yadav or Arun Kumar are concerned, they have their vote banks in Jhanjharpur and Jahanabad respectively. Arun Kumar was a two-time MP from Jahanabad and is considered as a veteran politician in the region. Both NDA and grand alliance tried hard for the one-to-one contest but it is not practically possible in every seat,” he said.

In Nawada where the election was held in the first phase, Chandan Singh, the current MP contested as an Independent candidate. In 2019, he had won from Nawada on the LJP ticket and joined the RLJP later on. As the seat went into the quota of the BJP, he contested the election as an Independent candidate this time. Chandan Singh is the brother of Bahubali leader Surajbhan Singh and belongs to an upper-caste family.

Pappu Yadav is another Independent candidate who became a challenger for RJD candidate Bima Bharti in Purnea. The election was held in Purnea in the second phase on April 26.

Akhtarul Iman of AIMIM contested the Lok Sabha election from Kishanganj and challenged Congress candidate Mohammad Jawed and JD-U candidate Mozahid Alam.


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