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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: It’s advantage NDA in Aurangabad as GA candidate is unable to muster support

Altogether nine candidates, including three independent candidates are in the fray in Bihar’s Aurangabad Lok Sabha seat but the main contest is between Sushil Kumar Singh of NDA and GA’s Upendra Prasad.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 09, 2019 16:54 IST
Anil Kumar Ojha
Anil Kumar Ojha
Hindustan Times, Gaya
lok sabha elections 2019,aurangabad LS seat,bihar
Top Grand Alliance leaders such as Jitan Ram Manjhi (left) and Tejashwi Yadav have campaigned for Upendra Prasad, the GA candidate in Bihar’s Aurangabad Lok Sabha seat.  (Santosh Kumar / HT Photo )

Sun city, Bihar’s Chittorgarh - Aurangabad is known by multiple names across the state. The district has the highest population of Rajputs among all districts in Bihar and they account for 18 per cent of the votes in the Aurangabad Lok Sabha constituency. For the coming Lok Sabha polls, BJP has played it safe by fielding sitting MP Sushil Kumar Singh from here. On the opposition front, denial of a ticket to Congress’s Nikhil Kumar has disappointed Congress workers in the region, as the seat fell into HAM(S)’s kitty as per the Grand Alliance’s seat-sharing agreement. Upendra Prasad is the GA nominee from Aurangabad.

Altogether nine candidates, including three independent candidates are in the fray but the main contest is between Sushil Kumar Singh and Upendra Prasad. Prasad, who was earlier in JD(U) joined the HAM(S) recently and was nominated by former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi. Prasad, himself belonging to the OBC community, is eying the minority and Yadav votes, which together account for nine per cent of the electorate.

But discontent among the Congress workers and the leaders here has further multiplied the woes of GA nominee Upendra Prasad, who is a new face in the constituency. Although top GA leaders such Tejashwi Yadav, Jitan Ram Manjhi and Upendra Kushwaha have already campaigned for Prasad across the district, passive Congress workers have made the GA leaders restless.

On the other hand, BJP nominee Sushil Kumar Singh has focused on the disgruntled upper caste voters of the constituency. The strategy to tap the dejected group of booth workers is working well with the BJP candidate, whose main objective is to polarise the upper caste votes in almost all the six assembly segments of Aurangabad.

In the absence of Nikhil Kumar, the division in upper caste votes has strengthened BJP’s position, as upper caste voters are contemplating to go with the NDA . A majority of the upper caste voters, particularly the Brahmins used to vote for the Congress and had sent Nikhil Kumar to Lok Sabha in 2004.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Rajnath Singh, chief minister Nitish Kumar, LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi have campaigned for the Aurangabad BJP nominee and enthused the party workers. Besides, Sushil Kumar Singh is also playing up his achievements and work done at his behest during the last 10 years.

Both GA and the NDA have been harping on development with justice but the voters are still divided on caste lines. Sushil Kumar Singh is stressing on the North Koel river irrigation project which has taken off after his continuous efforts.The union government has already released Rs 1,615 crores for the project to feed the canals across the district.

“The North Koel project has been hanging in the balance for more than five decades and its execution was made possible during the NDA rule this time,” said Ramadhar Singh of Jinoria village. “Sushil Kumar Singh is the strongest candidate and after the Modi rally in Gaya on April 2 the entire scene has changed here,’’ said Ram Pukar Mishra of Aurangabad, who has been a staunch Congress supporter.

For complete coverage of Lok Sabha Elections 2019, click here

First Published: Apr 09, 2019 16:43 IST