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BJP's poll arithmetic in Bihar seeks to maintain sway over upper castes while wooing OBCs, Dalits

Nearly half of the BJP's 46 candidates for the second phase of voting belong to the upper castes Rajputs, Bhumihars, Brahmins, Kayasthas and Vaishyas.

Published: 12th October 2020 06:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th October 2020 06:03 PM   |  A+A-

Janta Dal United National chief and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar with BJP senior leader and Dy CM Sushil Kumar Modi during a press conference in Patna

Janta Dal United National chief and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar with BJP senior leader and Dy CM Sushil Kumar Modi during a press conference in Patna (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

PATNA: A strategy of keeping its upper caste support base intact while making inroads in the sizeable OBC and Dalit vote bank meets the eye upon perusal of the BJPs list of 46 candidates for the second phase of assembly elections in Bihar.

Altogether 94 seats go to polls in the phase, for which voting will take place on November 3.

The BJP had got more than half of these under the seat- sharing arrangement with Chief Minister Nitish Kumars JD(U).

The saffron party's list of candidates for the second round of voting was released on Sunday.

Nearly half of the BJP's 46 candidates for the second phase of voting belong to the upper castes Rajputs, Bhumihars, Brahmins, Kayasthas and Vaishyas which constitute the core base of the saffron party in the state.

The party has also given tickets to eight Yadavs, seeking to make a dent into the opposition RJDs unquestionable sway over the most sizeable OBC group in the state.

The JD(U), which has announced its candidates for all the 115 seats it will be contesting, has also fielded a substantial number of Yadavs.

Yadavs form nearly 15 per cent of the electorate in the state and the NDA parties are trying to cash in absence of Prasad from the poll scene to wean away the core support base of the RJD.

The RJD suppremo is in jail after conviction in four cases of multi-crore fodder scam.

Candidates from other OBC groups also figure in the BJP's list while seven Dalits will be seeking votes for the party in as many reserved constituencies.

Out of the 46 seats in the seond phase, the BJP has set aside five from its quota for the Vikassheel Insaan Party, headed by former Bollywood set designer Mukesh Sahni who left the opposition camp and joined the NDA nearly a week ago.

VIP has been allocated total 11 seats for all three phases of the polls by the saffron party from its share of 121 seats in the NDA.

Bihar has a 243-member assembly.

ALSO READ | Bihar Assembly polls: RJD cites 'popularity' for fielding candidates with criminal cases

Rest 122 seats in the NDA camp have gone to the JD(U) out of which it has provided seven to Hindustani Awam Morcha of the former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.

The BJP had won 20 out of the seats going to polls in the second phase.

Its sitting members in four of these Sugauli, Chanpatiya, Siwan and Amnour have been deprived of tickets this time.

While Sugauli has gone to JD(U), the BJP has placed its trust in new faces in the remaining three.

Union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubeys reported lobbying for his son Arijit Shashwat seems to have paid no dividend in Bhagalpur where the party has placed its trust in district unit chief Rahul Pandey.

Another candidate, who has risen from the ranks and made it to the list is Nikhil Anand, one of the most prominent spokesmen in the state unit who will be challenging RJD strongman Bhai Virendra in Maner.

Former MP Om Prakash Yadav who had won Siwan for the party in 2014 but was denied tickets last year as the seat went to the JD(U), has been fielded from the assembly segment of the same name.

In neighboring Daraunda, the party has pacified rebel Karanjeet Singh, who quit and won the seat as an Independent in by-poll necessitated by Kavita Singhs election to the Lok Sabha from Siwan.

Karanjeet Singh will now seek to retain the seat as the BJPs official nominee.

Two state ministers in the list Nand Kishore Yadav and Rana Randhir will be seeking re-election from Patna City and Madhuban respectively.

The party has come out with names of its candidates for a total of 75 seats which go to polls in the first two phases.

Unsurprisingly, not a single Muslim has been given the party ticket though ally JD(U) has fielded nearly a dozen.



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