Lok Sabha Elections 2019: NDA banking on social equations in Bihar
Out of the 17 seats that the BJP would be contesting in Bihar, the party has changed candidates in only three seats. The NDA leaders, while issuing the list have taken care that all social segments of the society get due representation.Updated: Mar 25, 2019 17:07 IST
The BJP, which along with its allies in Bihar announced the list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, has decided to fall back on old warhorses and decided against any experimentation. Out of the 17 seats that the saffron party would be contesting in Bihar, the party has changed candidates in only three seats. The NDA leaders, while issuing the list have taken care that all social segments of the society get due representation.
Out of the three new names in the list - Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (Patna Sahib), Ashok Yadav (Madhubani) and Gopaljee Thakur (Darbhanga) - only Prasad is new to electoral politics as he has never contested the elections.
Of the other two, Yadav had been an MLA from Keoti and Thakur was a BJP MLA from Benipur assembly seat in 2010. However, he couldn’t retain the assembly seat and lost to JD(U) candidate in the 2015 assembly polls.
Earlier, the Darbhanga Lok Sabha seat was represented by BJP MP Kirti Azad, who has now joined Congress. Azad had defeated Mohd Ali Ashraf Fatmi of RJD in 2014. The Madhubani seat was represented by Ashok Yadav’s father Hukumdeo Narain Yadav.
The remaining 14 candidates of the BJP are sitting MPs and five of them are ministers in the Union Cabinet. Union ministers Radha Mohan Singh, Giriraj Singh, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Ram Kripal Yadav and R K Singh are seeking re-elections. Also in the fray is BJP state president Nityanand Rai contesting from Ujiyarpur and former union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy contesting from Saran.
The list has, however, left quite a few sulking. Shahnanwaz Husain, who contested from Bhagalpur, has been overlooked. Party leaders said that he was offered the Araria seat, which he declined.
A BJP functionary said that the party decided against experimenting with new faces, keeping in mind the way the Grand Alliance was taking calculated steps in putting candidates against the NDA. “A decision not to deny tickets to any of the union ministers was taken at the state election committee meeting and this applied to sitting MPS as well,” he said.
The only union minister to be affected was Giriraj Singh who was shifted to Begusarai after his Nawada seat went to LJP.
Party sources said that at least five to six sitting MPS, including ministers were on the firing line.
The NDA’S list of 39 has 13 general candidates, 12 from backward class, 7 from EBCS including those from Dhanuk, Kewat, Gangeyi, Gosai, Nishad, Gangota and Chandravanshi caste. Six tickets have gone to SCS. Only one Muslim has been given a ticket by the JD (U).
Among the upper castes, seven tickets have gone to Rajputs, three to Bhumihars, two to Brahmins and one to a Kayasth. Among the OBCS, five tickets have been given to Yadavs, 3 to Kushwahas, three to Vaishyas and one to a Kurmi. The SC candidates comprise four from Paswans and one each from the Ravidas and Mushar communities.
“The NDA has adequately represented every section of society in the ticket distribution which is going to demolish the divisive and casteist politics of Grand Alliance parties,” said BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand.
First Published: Mar 25, 2019 17:07 IST