Bihar polls: Upper caste, Dalits dominate LJP’s 2nd list, party banks on own cadre
While some of the candidates in the second list are also those left out by the BJP and the JD-U in ticket distribution, the party has mainly banked on its cadres this time.Updated: Oct 17, 2020, 18:50 IST
Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) on Friday released its second list of 53 candidates, taking the total number of candidates so far announced to 95. On November 8, the party had released its first list of 42 candidates.
While some of the candidates in the second list are also those left out by the BJP and the JD-U in ticket distribution, the party has mainly banked on its cadres this time. Sticking to its plan, the candidates are mostly from seats where the JD-U is contesting and has a dominance of Brahmins, Bhumihars and Dalits as part of its social engineering.
On five seats, LJP candidates will also be against the BJP, with respect to the Govindganj seat in East Champaran, and Lalganj in Vaishali district. Both the seats with sitting LJP MLAs have gone to the BJP in the NDA seat-sharing deal.
The Govindganj seat is held by LJP state parliamentary board president Raju Tiwari, while from the Lalganj seat, LJP candidate Raj Kumar had won in 2015, defeating JD-U’s Vijay Kumar.
The woman candidates have also benefited with 16 candidates fielded by the LJP in the two lists so far. LJP spokesman Vikas Mishra said that in keeping with the party’s focus on youth, 30 candidates out of 95 are below 40 years of age.
“Winnability of the candidates and their profile are the only two factors that party chief Chirag Paswan has considered while selecting the candidates. Other factors only come later after media scrutiny. Most of the candidates feel that this is the chance of the LJP as it is the end of the road for Nitish Kumar due to huge anti-incumbency wave against him,” he added.
Like in the first list, however, prominent BJP names are not there, but by fielding disgruntled BJP and JD-U candidates, the LJP has tried to put up a brave front in the face of growing attack from BJP leaders who have branded it ‘votekatwa’ (vote splitter).
From Teghara, former BJP MLA Lallan Kumar, who won in 2010, has been fielded this time. In NDA, the seat went to JD-U, which has fielded RJD import Birendra Kumar. Bhagalpur municipal corporation deputy mayor Rajesh Verma, who had joined the BJP, before the Lok Sabha elections, has been fielded by the LJP this time.
Chirag Paswan’s brother-in-law Mrityunjay Paswan ‘Mrenal’ has been fielded from Raja Pakar seat, while council Krishna Raj will contest from Rosera seat.
Talking to media on Thursday, Chirag had once again hit out at Nitish Kumar, saying there was “no vision in his governance to take the state forward” and that he had the blessings of his father to toe the line he is toeing, though he has full faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.