Patna, May 17: With RJD chief and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad‘s daughter Misa Bharati pitted against BJP‘s sitting MP and Minister Ram Kripal Yadav from here, Bihar’s Patliputra Lok Sabha constituency has become a prestige battle.
While Bharati is relying on sympathy for her father, imprisoned in the Ranchi jail in the fodder scam, her BJP opponent is flaunting the appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his development plank.
The fight between the two Yadavs is being termed as one between the “uncle” and “niece”.
Once with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Ram Kripal Yadav joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2014 after being denied a ticket from Patliputra. Amid a Modi wave, he defeated Misa Bharti by over 40,000 votes then.
Some of the other candidates in the fray then were Janata Dal-United candidate Ranjan Prasad Yadav and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) nominee Rameshwar Prasad.
Primarily a rural area, the Patliputra seat includes six Assembly constituencies — Danapur, Maner, Paliganj, Phulwari, Masaurhi and Vikram. While the RJD and the Congress hold two Assembly seats each, two are with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
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Says Patna College Professor N.K. Chaudhary: “If Ram Kripal has his work to show, Misa Bharati is banking on his father’s charisma. The RJD is constantly trying to fan the sympathy for Lalu Prasad in its favour. The fight is between sympathy and development.”
Bharati, who is campaigning with her mother and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi, keeps reminding the voters not to forget the humiliation heaped on her father.
One observer, Santosh Singh, felt the contest will split the Yadav votes.
“Though the Yadavs have been hardcore RJD supporters, another Yadav in the contest is bound to cause division. The BJP will get the upper caste votes.”
General Elections 2019 is being held across seven phases starting April 11 to May 19. 51 seats under Phase-V voted on May 6. Counting of the votes will be held on May 23. Voting of the remaining 118 constituencies will be held in two phases slated on May 12 and May 19.
Polling in Bihar’s 40 Lok Sabha Seat is being spread on all seven phases. 16 Lok Sabha seats of the state will go to polls in remaining two phases. Both Patna Sahib and Patliputra Lok Sabha Seat will go to polls on May 19.