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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

It’s windfall for turncoats in Bihar

Ashok Mishra, Hindustan Times  Patna, May 18, 2014
First Published: 00:32 IST(18/5/2014) | Last Updated: 00:36 IST(18/5/2014)

The 2014 Lok Sabha elections came as a windfall for party hoppers and deserters in Bihar.

As many as 10 out of 25 candidates who changed their political affiliation to the BJP rode the Modi wave to romp home with comfortable margins. However, a majority of party hoppers who joined the JD(U) and RJD were not that lucky.

Seven turncoats who joined the BJP defeated their nearest rivals with substantial margins.

The giant killers included Ram Kripal Yadav, who defeated Lalu's daughter and RJD nominee Misa Bharti from Patliputra seat, and Chhedi Paswan, who defeated Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar (Congress) from Sasaram.

Incidentally, Yadav was eager to contest from Patliputra seat as an RJD nominee but Lalu fielded his daughter instead.

Yadav's victory is considered as a loss of face for the RJD chief, who put family prestige at stake there and at Saran.

It was embarrassment for Lalu at Saran too, as his wife Rabri Devi suffered defeat there. Saran was earlier represented by Lalu, who lost his LS membership after he was disqualified following his conviction in fodder scam case.

The Sasaram winner was annoyed with the "arrogant style of functioning" of CM Nitish Kumar. He had met PM designate Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad before formally joining BJP.

One of the noteworthy winners of Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) — the main ally of BJP in Bihar — is Choudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser from Khagaria in Kosi region. Kaiser, the former BPCC president, was left with no option but to switch over to the LJP because the Khagaria seat was allocated to RJD in the seat adjustment between the RJD and Congress.

BJP suffered in Madhepura, where its candidate Vijay Singh Kushwaha tried his luck against JD(U) president Sharad Yadav and RJD strongman Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav. Kushwaha, a JD(U) leader, had joined BJP in the presence of Modi at his rally in Purnia.

Of the 10 leaders who had switched over to the JD(U), Santosh Kushwaha was the only winner, from Purnia. Among the five who had switched over to the RJD-Congress combine, only Taslimuddin was able to register a substantial win from Araria.


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