BIHAR POLLS … Parties release lists of candidates as electioneering gains pace; PM for campaign


PATNA: Under a seat-sharing formula among the Mahagathbandhan partners in Bihar, the Congress will field candidates in 70 seats – as against the 41 seats it contested in the 2015 assembly polls in the state, when the JDU was also a part of this alliance. The party had won 27 seats then. The 2019 LS polls was a washout for the Congress, when it won only one seat, Kishnaganj; and the BJP-JDU-LJP swept the polls with 39 of the 40 seats from Bihar.

The Congress list includes 12 Muslims, 11 Bhumihars, 9 each Rajputs and Brahmins, four Kayasthas, nine OBCs, 16 SC-ST and other most-backward caste members. The Mahagatbandhan includes, apart from the RJD and the Congress, the Left parties too for namesake.

The RJD released a list of its candidates for 144 seats, in which Yadavs, its main base, got 58 names and Muslims, another prominent backers of the party,  17 seats. The list also includes 12 candidates from forward castes.

The JDU, contesting from 122 constituencies, gave 77 tickets to BCs, Muslims and SC-STs. There are 22 women in the JDU list – the largest share for women in any polls in the state so far. JDU is facing internal tumult over ticket distribution, with three prominent Dalit leaders shifting side to the RJD camp. The JDU has expelled some 15 prominent leaders over such differences in recent days.

On the BJP side, the election campaign is coordinated by former Maharashtra CM, Devendra Fadnavis. Prime Minister Modi will address altogether 12 rallies on different days, starting with a tour of Gaya, Sasaram and Bhagalpur on October 23. The PM will be back in the state on October 28, when he will address rallies in Patna, Darbhanga and Muzafarpur. On November 1, Modi will address rallies in Chapra, East Champaran and Samastipur. On the last leg on November 3, the PM will address rallies in West Champaran, Saharsa and Forbesganj, the BJP has announced.

The BJP is contesting for 121 seats. It has an electoral understanding with Vikasheel Insaan Party, led by Bollywood designer Mukesh Sahani. It has been given 11 seats.

In the candidate list, the BJP has carried 15 Brahmins and an equal number of SC-STs. There are also 21 Rajputs and 11 Yadavs in the BJP list.

The Lok Janshakti Party, with its strong Dalit base, has released list for 42 seats, which includes names of 18 forward castes. Some 13 are BCs and 10 SC-STs. It will be contesting all the 122 seats where JDU has nominees.

Prominent Muslim leader from Hyderabad, Assadudin Owaisi heading the AIMIM, is fielding candidates this time too, in association with former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP. –IHN-NN


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