Patna: After a tough contest in four phases, it appears that the NDA and grand alliance are locked in a neck and neck fight in the fifth phase in Bihar. Of the five seats going to polls on May 6, Madhubani, Saran, and Hajipur seats are crucial for the NDA.
Madhubani, a key Mithilanchal seat, is gearing up to see a contest between BJP’s Ashok Yadav, Vikasheel Insan Party’s (VIP) Badri Purbe and Congress’s Shakeel Ahmed who has filed his nominations as an independent candidate.
Political analysts claim that Shakeel Ahmed of the Congress contesting as an independent candidate may create trouble for both the BJP and Vikasheel Insan Party. Ashok Yadav is a son of veteran BJP leader and four-time MP Hukumadeo Narain Yadav while Badri Purbe, also a son of a senior political leader, is hoping to get the support from the Bania and Nishad community which form about 10 per cent of the local population in Madhubani. Reports suggest that the VIP has also been trying to woo RJD’s traditional Muslim-Yadav (M-Y) and MBC voters.
The upper caste Brahmins, Bhumihars and Rajputs, however, have been traditional NDA supporters in Madhubani.
In 2014, RJD’s Abdul Bari Siddiqui was defeated by Hukumadeo Narain Yadav by over 20,000 votes.
Saran which has been RJD’s traditional seat is also poised to witness a tough electoral battle this year as Rajiv Pratap Rudy of the BJP has been pitted against RJD nominee Chandrika Rai.
Sources claim that the Saran seat has become a prestige battle for Lalu Yadav and his party. Mr Yadav who is now serving a sentence in connection with the fodder scam has been four-term MP from this seat.
In his absence, the RJD fielded Chandrika Rai, estranged father-in-law of his elder son Tej Pratap.
Political analysts claim that Mr Rai is facing tough contest from BJP’s Mr Rudy who had defeated former Bihar chief minister Lalu Yadav’s wife Rabri Devi in 2014 by a margin of 40,948 votes.
In Hajipur, Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan’s brother Pashupati Paras is locked in a neck and neck fight with RJD’s Shivchandra Ram.
Hajipur is considered a ‘VIP seat’ because Ram Vilas Paswan represented it nine times since 1977.