The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are trying to woo upper caste voters.
The BSP has given tickets to the Brahmin candidates to contest three seats in the district in the ensuing Assembly election. However, this has disappointed the Kshatriyas, who have been denied tickets by the party.
Sources said that in the 2002 Assembly election, the BSP had fielded five forward candidates. But Vinod Kumar Singh, contesting from the Machhlishahar seat, was the only candidate who was declared elected. He defected from the BSP and joined the Samajwadi Party in August 2003 and later became the chairman of sugarcane corporation.
The loyalty of most Kshatriya MLAs, who emerged victorious on a BSP ticket in last assembly election, became dubious as most of them later joined other parties. This is why the Brahmin candidates have been given preference over the Kshatriyas in the coming election.
This time the BSP has fielded Subhash Pandey from the Machhlishahar seat, Capt KC Tripathy from Garwara and Ravindra Tripathy from Barsathi.
On the other hand, the BJP, which claims to be the well-wisher of the backward classes, has not given a single ticket to a candidate belonging to the backward caste.
Except for two reserved seats, all the candidates declared by the BJP this time to contest from seven assembly constituencies belong to the upper caste. These candidates include three Brahmins and two Kshatriyas. Manish Shukla has joined the fray on a BJP ticket from Khuthan seat. Besides, the Machhlishahar, Mariahun and Rari seats are to be contested by the allied parties of the BJP.
It looks almost certain that Dhananjay Singh, the present MLA with plenty of muscle power, will contest from the Rari seat on behalf of BJP-JD (U) alliance while the Mariahun and Machhlishahar seats are being left to be contested by Apna Dal, an allied partner of the BJP. The Apna Dal seems to have made up its mind to field upper caste candidates to contest these seats.