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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Triangular battle in Bihar’s Banka could be anyone’s game

While Girdhari Yadav of JD-U is the NDA candidate pitted against RJD’s sitting MP Jai Prakash Naryan Yadav, the entry of Putul Kumari, wife of late Digvijay Singh, as an Independent has made the battle interesting.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 17, 2019 10:38 IST
Avijit Biswas
Avijit Biswas
Hindustan Times, Banka
Banka Lok Sabha seat,Lok Sabha Elections 2019,RJD
Putul Kumari {MP} Banka Bihar(HT)

The Banka Lok Sabha seat, currently held by the RJD, is set to witness a triangular contest with no straws in the wind.

In the predominately rural constituency, caste equations could influence the outcome apart from national issues, say a corss-section of the electorate.

With contestant a force to reckon with in electoral battle the contest has become triangular in

While Girdhari Yadav of JD-U is the NDA candidate pitted against RJD’s sitting MP Jai Prakash Naryan Yadav, the entry of Putul Kumari, wife of late Digvijay Singh, as an Independent has made the battle interesting.

In 2014, Putul Kumari has fought as a BJP candidate and was the runner-up, losing the seat by a slender margin.

Digvijay Singh, husband of Putul Kumari, was union minister of state for railways and had represented the constituency thrice in past. He is credited by people for putting Banka on the railway map of country and also for his other development initiatives.

The legacy of her husband, coupled with the fact that the constituency has more than a lakh Rajputs, a caste to which she belongs, has poised Putul Kumari evenly with major contestants.

Kumari turned a rebel after Banka seat went to JD (U) as part of NDA’s seat sharing deal.

Sachidanand Tiwary, president of Banka Chamber of Commerce, said Putul Kumari’s campaign was being managed by her two daughters, Shreyasi Singh, a national level shooter, and Mansi Singh, and the response they had been receiving could give other contestants a run for their money.

Girdhari Yadav, who currently represents Belhar assembly segment of Banka Lok Sabha constituency, had represented Banka parliamentary seat twice in past.

Dwarka Prasad Mishra, spokesperson of JD-U’s district unit, says Girdhari’s prospects would hardly be impacted by the presence of Putul Kumari in the fray.

Ashok Singh, a doctor by profession, says the triangular electoral battle was likely to witness consolidation of support on caste and political lines.

An aspirational district, Banka has few opportunities for higher education, Singh said. Since PBS College is only constituent unit of TM Bhagalpur University in Banka, students from the district had to go to other places for higher education, he said, lamenting that there was hardly any talk on the issues facing the constituency.

First Published: Apr 17, 2019 10:30 IST