Representational Photo.
Representational Photo.

Bihar Assembly Election 2020: NDA vs GA contest shrinks space for smaller parties, new alliances

Since 2000, over 80% of candidates in the Bihar assembly polls have lost their security deposits, according to the Election Commission. But this has not prevented smaller parties and independent candidates from contesting polls
By Arun Kumar | Hindustan Times, Patna
PUBLISHED ON OCT 02, 2020 12:03 PM IST

Smaller parties and independent candidates have been known for cluttering Bihar’s electoral space, but they no longer have the kind of impact they once had in upsetting big players. Their presence has considerably diminished since it has become a direct contest between the Janata Dal United-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-led Grand Alliance (GA) .

Since 2000, over 80% of candidates in the Bihar assembly polls have lost their security deposits, according to the Election Commission. But this has not prevented smaller parties and independent candidates from contesting polls.

There were 150 unrecognised political parties like Aap Aur Hum Party, Bharatiya Mitra Party, Public Mission Party, Rashtriya Sadabahar Party, Sathi Aur Apka Faisla Party, Vasudev Kutumbakam Party with headquarters in Patna as in January. Most of them have not ever been able to get even 0.5% of the votes.

Also Read: Filing of nomination papers for Bihar Assembly Election 2020 begins

Several new fronts of parties that have not found space in the two main alliances--NDA and GA-- are also taking shape. Five-time Parliament member Devendra Prasad Yadav has joined hands with Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen to form United Democratic Secular Alliance.

Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) have formed another alliance. RLSP spokesman Madhav Anand said more parties could join them.

In the 2015 assembly elections, only seven seats went to parties and independents outside NDA and GA. In 2010, independents won six seats in the 243-member House, while the Communist Party of India four and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha one.

Also Read: Bihar Assembly Election 2020: LJP likely to stay with NDA, says Ramdas Athawale

Since the 2005 polls, when independents won 10 seats, their share has been consistently on decline.

Political analyst Shaibal Gupta said elections are becoming increasingly bipolar and voters do not want to waste their votes. He added smaller parties were getting marginalised not only in Bihar but also at the national level.

Analyst Ajay Kumar Jha said people have begun to value their votes more with increased awareness and literacy. “Earlier also, many smaller parties did not fight election for winning, but for other considerations. Now, voters do not look beyond mainstream parties. This time, it could be even tougher for smaller parties, as their reach would be further restricted and they would not be able to match bigger parties in the use of technology.”

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