Ram-Shyam saga: Bihar’s poll terrain takes a godly turn | india | Hindustan Times
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Ram-Shyam saga: Bihar’s poll terrain takes a godly turn

There is no taking away a touch of godliness from the ongoing poll processes in Bihar. A fairly large number of candidates share their names with the most popular gods of the Hindu pantheon.

india Updated: Mar 24, 2014 11:04 IST
Anirban Guha Roy

There is no taking away a touch of godliness from the ongoing poll processes in Bihar.

A fairly large number of candidates share their names with the most popular gods of the Hindu pantheon.

Even though few of them may be blessed with truly godly attributes, ‘Ram’ and ‘Shyam’ are this poll season’s biggest hits by way of the names of candidates.

With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leading in pre-poll assessments, one should not be surprised with the number of ‘Rams’ on the lists of most parties, followed by ‘Krishna’ or ‘Shyam’.

Icons from epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata, like Ram’s younger brother Shatrughan and Krishna’s devout follower Meira are also among the entrants to the electoral arena.

However, it’s the BJP which has the least number of candidates named after gods — only two. One of them is a late import — Ram Kripal Yadav, formerly a close aide of Lalu Prasad in the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), who has been declared the Pataliputra candidate.

The other is sitting MP Rama Devi, who has been re-nominated from the north Bihar constituency of Sheohar, which literally means the abode of Shiva.

Of course, the BJP’s two other prominent candidates — Patna Sahib contestant Shatrughan Sinha and East Champaran candidate Radha Mohan Singh — have names with mythological parallels.

The BJP’s new ally, the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), has fielded three candidates whose names are ‘Ram’. LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan is the most prominent among them. Others are Vaishali nominee Ram Kishore Singh and Samastipur candidate Ram Chandra Paswan.

“The LJP has truly turned saffron”, quipped RJD chief Lalu Prasad, Paswan’s main rival. Lalu’s party, RJD too is no exception. It has a number of candidates whose names are synonymous with mythological characters.

RJD’s West Champaran candidate Raghunath Jha’s name is synonymous with ‘Ram’ while another candidate, Sitaram Yadav, is named after Ram’s consort.

There is also Ramji Manjhi, in the ring from Gaya, while Lord Krishna has a namesake in Krishna Kumari Yadav, a formidable RJD candidate from Khagaria.

The RJD’s ally, Congress has a known face in Meira Kumar, the candidate from Sasaram, who shares her name with the famous devotee of Lord Krishna.

The Janata Dal (United) has Ram Prakash Mahto and Ram Sundar Das — candidates from Katihar and Hajipur respectively.