Ujiarpur/Begusarai: An energetic campaign boosted by his image of being a trenchant critic of the Modi government has propelled CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar into the centre stage of electoral contest in Begusarai seat but many see his rising graph posing a bigger threat to the opposition RJD than the ruling BJP.
The BJP supporters in Begusarai and other Lok Sabha seats in the region, which will vote on April 29, assert that the appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains a big draw for voters, while the opposition’s alliance is hoping to counter it with its social arithmetic at several places.
If the Modi factor is powering the BJP’s campaign, the alliance of the Lalu Prasad’s RJD, Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP and the Congress is betting on a formidable social equation in these seats, including Ujiarpur, where Kushwaha is taking on Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai to make the going difficult for the saffron party. Both Ujiarpur and Begusarai were won by the BJP in 2014.
In the 2014 polls, BJP’s Bhola Singh, who died in October last year, had defeated Lalu Prasad-led RJD’s Tanveer Hasan, who is again in the fray, with a margin of 5.4 per cent votes (more than 58,000).
The JD(U)-backed CPI had finished a distant third with near 93,000 votes. Singh had got over 4.29 lakh votes.
CPI has fielded Kumar, former JNU students union leader, this time, while BJP has brought in union minister Giriraj Singh, who had won from Nawada last time. However, for most BJP leaders and supporters Prime Minister Modi is the main draw and even Singh has said that it is Modi himself who is the NDA candidate on all seats in the state and the leaders fighting the elections are only his “symbols”.
The BJP watchers feel the party’s tactic of making the election a contest about Modi is working.
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