The fight is between women candidates on Sheohar, Siwan seats

Patna, May 22 (IANS) While every political party in India supports and lauds quota for women in Parliament, they give Lok Sabha poll tickets to very few female candidates.

As a result, only three women managed to win the Lok Sabha elections in 2004, four in 2009 and three each in 2014 and 2019 in Bihar.

This time, many political parties in Bihar like the RJD, JD(U) and LJPR have given tickets to women candidates.

Surprisingly, only the BJP did not field any female in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in Bihar this time.

The RJD has given tickets to Bima Bharti from Purnia, Misa Bharti from Patliputra, Rohini Acharya from Saran, Archana Ravidas from Jamui and Ritu Jaiswal from Sheohar.

The JD(U) has given tickets to Lovely Anand to contest from Sheohar and Vijaylaxmi Kushwaha from Siwan while the LJPR has given the tickets to Shambhavi Choudhary to contest from Samastipur and Veena Singh from Vaishali.

However, in the sixth phase of polling in Bihar, there are two seats where women candidates have a great chance of reaching Parliament.

Sheohar is one such seat and the other is Siwan. On both the seats, two strong female candidates are contesting against each other.

In Sheohar the JD(U)’s Lovely Anand, who is the wife of strongman Anand Mohan Singh, is pitted against the RJD’s Ritu Jaiswal.

Both the parties have fielded these women leaders keeping in mind the caste equations.

Sheohar has a total of 16,86,215 voters including 8,96,691 males and 7,89,456 females.

This seat is known for a sizable population (25 per cent) of Vaishyas and they are considered aggressive voters.

There are 18 per cent Muslims, while SCs, STs, EBCs and OBCs are around 40 per cent. The Rajput voters are around 15 per cent and other upper caste voters are around 2 per cent.

Though the population of Rajputs is not very high in Sheohar, but they are also considered aggressive voters.

This is the reason why three MLAs in this Lok Sabha are from the Rajput community. One of them is Chetan Anand, son of Lovely Anand. Anand Mohan won the Lok Sabha election from Sheohar in 1996 and 1998.

When Rama Devi from the Vaishya community was brought under the Rajput and Vaishya equation, the BJP won all three Lok Sabha elections of 2009, 2014 and 2019 from this seat.

This time, Lovely Anand has been fielded in place of Rama Devi.

After Rama Devi's ticket was cut, the RJD cleverly fielded Ritu Jaiswal who comes from the Vaishya community.

Though the main contest on the Sheohar seat is between RJD's Ritu Jaiswal and NDA's Lovely Anand, but Asaduddin Owaisi's party AIMIM has fielded Rana Ranjit Singh as its candidate in Sheohar.

Rana Ranjit Singh belongs to the Rajput caste and his brother Rana Randhir Singh is a BJP MLA from Madhuban seat in this Lok Sabha constituency.

Rana Ranjit Singh's brother is campaigning for Lovely Anand in the election.

If Rana Ranjit Singh succeeds in cutting Rajput votes then Lovely Anand may face difficulties because the Vaishya community is not happy with Rama Devi being denied a ticket.

In Siwan, the contest may pan out to be a triangular one between Vijaylaxmi Kushwaha of the JD(U), Awadh Bihari Choudhary of the RJD and Independent candidate Hina Shahab who is the wife of late bahubali leader Mohammad Shahabuddin.

The positions of Vijaylaxmi Kushwaha and Hina Shahab are very strong here.

Siwan Lok Sabha seat comprises Siwan, Barharia, Daraunda, Jiradei, Raghunathpur and Darauli Assembly seats with around 18 lakh voters here.

There are around 9,85,000 male and 7,90,000 female voters in it. If we look at the numbers on the basis of caste then Muslims are 3 lakh, Yadavs 2.5, Kushwaha 1.25 lakh, Sahni 80,000, upper castes 4 lakh and EBCs 2.5 lakh.

Awadh Bihari Choudhary is contesting the Lok Sabha polls for the first time. He has been an MLA six times from the Siwan Assembly constituency. He is considered a senior leader of the RJD and very close to Lalu Prasad Yadav. He also held the Speaker’s post in the Bihar Assembly during the Grand Alliance government.

Out of all three, Hina Shahab is considered the most influential leader here. When her husband Mohammad Shahabuddin was alive, he literally ruled Siwan for over 2 decades. As a result, this seat is considered a stronghold of the Shahabuddin family.

This is the reason why, RJD leaders wanted to give the ticket to Hina Shahab but she reportedly refused as the relationship between her and Lalu Prasad Yadav had turned sour.

Siwan is one seat where no one would be surprised if an Independent candidate wins the Lok Sabha election this time.


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