Most Danapur residents are unhappy with both Misa and sitting MP Ram Kripal Yadav, particularly for failing to check periodic floods
Pataliputra in Bihar has prepared ground for a Yadav vs Yadav battle in the upcoming seventh phase of the Lok Sabha elections.
In the fray from this seat are Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti and his close aide Ram Kripal Yadav, who had left the RJD to join the BJP just ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. At that time, the RJD camp was brimming with betrayal, and Misa is now seen cashing in on that betrayal.
In the constituency, which has a significant chunk of Yadavs, both the BJP and the RJD have fielded Yadav candidates and the fight between Lalu’s daughter and close aide will indeed be absorbing.
However, traversing through several towns of the Pataliputra districts paints a different story altogether. In Danapur, the traditional voter base has always favoured the lantern, which is the party symbol of the RJD. Yadavs in Bhagwatipur, a quaint hamlet in Danapur, have always supported Lalu and this time, have made up their mind to support Misa, who connects well with women too.
However, winning the Yadav vote doesn’t seem to be enough. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Misa lost Pataliputra to Ram Kripal Yadav by 40,000 votes; and in the 2009 general election, Lalu Prasad had lost to JD(U) candidate Ranjan Prasad Yadav by 23,000 votes. In both cases, the CPI(M) polled more votes than the loss margin.
This time, the Left is supporting Misa in return for the RJD’s support of their candidate in Arrah. So much so, that more red flags were seen canvassing Misa’s rally than the RJD’s. In addition, Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP is supporting the gathbandhan, which could add the votes of the Kushwaha (OBC comunity) votes in Misa’s kitty.
On the other hand, the votes pulled by the JD(U) in the last election – over 97,000 – will now be in BJP’s favour. In addition, Kurmis, the caste which Nitish Kumar belongs to, may end up voting for the BJP.
This makes non-Yadav votes the key deciding factor in the Yadav dominated area.As far as local issues are concerned, most Danapur residents are unhappy with both Misa and sitting MP Ram Kripal Yadav, particularly for failing to check periodic floods. In the last election, people voted for a sturdier bridge across the Ganga so as to shorten the distance between Patna and Chhapra, but were left disappointed. Besides, after Nitish Kumar introduced new contract rules, Yadav youths in the business of selling sand lost their jobs.