VAISHALI: When Bihar struggled without roads, Vaishali Lok Sabha constituency had a wide network of macadamized stretches. And when the state struggled to find a way through dark nights without power, Vaishali — the cradle of the world’s first democracy under the Licchavi dynasty — had enough electricity and even some to spare.
The credit, however, goes to one person — former Union rural development minister and the then Vaishali MP Raghuvansh Prasad Singh. Singh is also known as ‘Bijulia Baba’. “It is painful to see that no one is speaking of actual issues. Every NDA supporter just chants ‘Modi, Modi’, instead of talking about where he will work and eat,” said Singh.
RJD candidate Singh, is also known as ‘Brahma Baba’, in veneration for his simple life. “He is a popular name for his development work, long before Nitish Kumar or Narendra Modi spoke about it. He provided power and roads when Bihar lived in dark ages,” said Raghuvar Sahni of Saraiaya. “The fishermen and boatmen community will vote for him.”
“Singh was King here till RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav had not opposed the 10% reservation to the economically weak among the upper castes. His party’s line does not allow us to vote for him,” Santosh Kumar, a Rajput of Bithauli village, said.
Arithmetically, the caste configuration supports another term for Singh, but it’s his own caste, the Rajputs, which roots for the BJP.
Veena Devi, the wife of BJP MLC from Muzaffarpur, Dinesh Prasad Singh, has been fielded by LJP as NDA candidate against Singh. “Dinesh had been an RJD poll manager in Vaishali for 13 years and was close to Dr Singh. But in politics, no one is a permanent foe or friend,” said Kaushal K Singh of Vaishali.
“I have a doctorate in mathematics but have done on-field research in politics. I know the people will favour me,” Singh said.
In Vaishali LS constituency, Yadavs, Kushwahas and Nishad voters make for a significant grouping and are expected to stand by Singh.
On the other hand, LJP candidate Veena Devi said she was sure of her victory based on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and PM Narendra Modi’s good development work in the last five years. Veena Devi is an ex-chairperson of Muzaffarpur and has represented Gaighat assembly segment of Muzaffarpur for BJP in 2010.
She is the wife of present BJP MLC Dinesh Prasad Singh, who is supposed to one of the influential and well-off leaders of Rajput caste.