Lok Sabha elections 2019: NDA veteran Ram Vilas Paswan bows out of Bihar Lok Sabha race, JD(U) banks on backwards
BJP in-charge for Bihar affairs Bhupendra Yadav announced that union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will be contesting from Patna Sahib in place of incumbent MP Shatrughan Sinha.Updated: Mar 23, 2019 18:39 IST
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar, comprising BJP, JD (U) and LJP, on Saturday announced the names of candidates for 39 out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats.
The candidate for the Khagaria seat that belongs to LJP quota in the 17-17-6 seat deal was the only one not announced.
BJP in-charge for Bihar affairs Bhupendra Yadav announced that union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will be contesting from Patna Sahib in place of incumbent MP Shatrughan Sinha.
Sinha has been dropped from the BJP’s list of 17 candidates as the cine-star-turned politician has been critical of the decisions taken by the Narendra Modi government, including demonetisation. Sinha is likely to join Congress on Sunday and may contest against Prasad from Patna Sah0ib.
Announcing the list at a joint press meet, attended by state presidents and senior leaders of the three allies at BJP headquarters, Yadav said that sitting MP from Nawada and union minister Giriraj Singh has been shifted to Begusarai after his seat went to the LJP.
Going by the list of respective allies, it is clear that the JD (U) has placed its bet on OBCs and EBCs by allotting seven and five tickets to candidates from these groups, while ally BJP has accommodated upper castes and LJP has taken care of SCs to balance the tricky social combination.
The EBC and OBCs make up 55% of voters in Bihar, while Muslims account for 16% of the total voters.
JD (U) has fielded two legislators Girdhari Yadav and Ajay Kumar Mandal from Banka and Bhagalpur and one minister Dinesh Chandra Yadav from Madhepura to take on Sharad Yadav. Kavita Singh, a Rajput legislator, has been picked by the party for contesting Siwan and Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh, a Bhumihar leader and minister, for Munger.
In view of the Grand Alliance’s strong pitch for minority votes, the NDA list has only one minority candidate. It was left for the JD (U) to field Mehmood Ashraf from Kishanganj seat held by Congress MP Ashrarul Haque, who passed away recently.
The three NDA partners have fielded only one woman candidate each, which is around 7.5% of the total number of Lok Sabha seats (40) in the state.
Giriraj Singh’s cabinet colleagues Radha Mohan Singh, Raj Kumar Singh, Ashwini Kumar Chaubey and Ram Kripal Yadav will contest from their respective seats of Motihari, Ara, Buxar and Patliputra. “The names of 39 candidates have been finalized by national presidents of BJP, JD (U) and LJP Amit Shah, Nitish Kumar and Ramvilas Paswan,” Yadav said.
While the BJP has banked on its old war horses, its list has two new entrants—Ashok Kumar Yadav and Gopaljee Thakur—who will be contesting Lok Sabha polls for the first time. Yadav will be replacing his father Hukumdeo Narain Yadav in Madhubani, while Thakur will be replacing Kirti Azad, who has walked over to Congress fold recently.
The JD (U) that had only two MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha — Kaushalendra Kumar and Santosh Kumar Kushwaha — has retained them on their respective parliamentary seats Nalanda and Purnia, while new faces, including Vijay Kumar Manjhi, Chandeshwar Prasad Chandravanshi and Dulal Chandra Goswami will be trying their luck from Gaya, Jehanabad and Katihar respectively.
LJP state president and minister Pashupati Kumar Paras will be replacing elder brother and nion minister Ram Vilas Paswan in Hajipur, while Chirag Paswan will be seeking re-election from Jamui. The candidate for Khagaria seat is still to be finalized. The seat is held by LJP’s Chaudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser.
First Published: Mar 23, 2019 18:39 IST