Sangh Parivar Chief Mohan Bhagwat has put BJP in an embarrassing position that has the potential to spoil its entire poll effort. His statement calling for an apolitical committee to review who needed reservation and for how long has caused a major stir among the NDA alliance partners, majority of which represent the Dalit, Mahadalit and OBC sections.
To complicate matters further Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has come out in support of Mohan Bhagwat’s statement saying that even Dr Ambedkar had stated that reservations needed to be reviewed after 10 years. The statements come at a time when BJP and RSS have been going all out to reach out to Dalit, Mahadalit and OBCs for the first time, so much so that its alliance partners in Bihar today form a major chunk of the population for whom the reservations were introduced in the first place.
BJP has traditionally been a party with support from the upper castes forming its backbone. However, in Bihar, they are less than 14% and therefore, any statement before elections in a caste sensitive state like Bihar is bound to negatively impact NDA’s poll effort. Needless to say, the opposition, which includes the Mahagathbandhan allies and the Third Front, are likely to take advantage and will go to town highlighting the BJP doublespeak. To counter this, both BJP and RSS have gone into damage control mode. Coming days will unravel to what extent the damage has been done.
Akhilesh Yadav promises to replicate the UP Model in Bihar
Addressing his party workers and alliance partners in Patna yesterday, UP Chief Minister and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav promised to replicate the ‘UP model’ in Bihar. He referred to various popular schemes like distribution of 1.5 lakh laptops to students in UP, state government’s pension scheme for women, and finance schemes for weaker sections to build houses, as models that could be replicated in Bihar.
He called upon party workers to reach out to their areas and communicate the good work that SP has done in UP and assure them that the same could be done in Bihar as well, if the Third Front comes to power.
Criticising PM Narendra Modi for failing to live up to his promises, Akhilesh Yadav said the PM had indulged in brand creation and marketing by selling dreams to people. He said the PM had given false hopes to the people of Nepal on his visit there, only to see those dreams go down with the new Constitution failing to include their demands, especially for people living in the border areas. He also spoke about the government’s failure in securing the borders, and in containing Naxal attacks.
Can NCP’s Tariq Anwar as the Third Front candidate for CM, swing it for them?
In a meeting held at SK Memorial Hall in Patna yesterday, the Third Front announced that NCP’s Tariq Anwar would be the CM candidate if they came to power. The announcement made in front of UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and other leaders of the Third Front alliance, is significant. First, the choice of a Muslim candidate is certainly going to have an impact amongst the Muslim population not just in Seemanchal region, from where Tariq Anwar hails, but in other parts of Bihar as well. Hailing from Katihar in Seemanchal, Tariq Anwar is a well know politician, having served as a Union Minister in the UPA-1 administration.
However, it won’t be easy for him as he won’t be the only Muslim candidate. Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM has joined the battle and will be putting up candidates in all 24 seats in the Seemanchal region. Besides, RJD’s Mohammad Taslimuddin is a heavyweight from Seemanchal who has a sizeable following. Tariq Anwar may not command a large following as Taslimuddin but the fact that Third Front is fighting all 243 seats does give him an edge and if he can connect with the Muslim community outside the Seemanchal region, he just may prove to be the X-factor for the Third Front.
Dynasty politics is a birth right in Bihar
Political leaders have been demanding and also walking out of parties on denial of tickets to their progeny. Latest to join the bandwagon is six-time BJP MLA Chandra Mohan Rai, who is upset over ticket being denied to his son, Janmejay. Unhappy over the fact that both CP Thakur and Ashwini Choubey’s sons had been given a ticket, Chandra Mohan Rai said he would contest as an Independent, though he plans to retain BJP’s party membership.
Chairperson of the Bihar Legislative Council and BJP member, Awadesh Narain Singh, is also reportedly unhappy with the party for denying his son Raman a ticket from Dumraon. The party is facing several other disgruntled members on being denied a ticket.
Politician in focus: Giriraj Singh, BJP (Born 8 September 1952)
Giriraj Singh, a Bhumihar Brahmin, was born in Barahiya district of Bihar. He passed his graduation 1971 from Magadh University. Besides active politics, he is keen to promote the Moringa plant that is high on nutrition and can be beneficial for human and cattle consumption. He has also been involved in various initiatives in cattle development.
He is the sitting MP from Nawada in Bihar and is also the serving Minister of State of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. From 2005-2010, he has served as Co-operative Minister under Nitish Kumar government and Animal Husbandry Minister from 2010-2013, before being removed by Nitish Kumar when JD(U) split from BJP.
Constituency in focus: Bodh Gaya
Bodh Gaya is the place where Lord Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment sitting under the Bodhi tree. The Mahabodhi Temple, a UNESCO Heritage site, is an important destination for Buddhists from all over the world.
Bodh Gaya is a Nagar Panchayat and is divided into 19 wards. As per 2011 Census, the population is 38,439 of which 19,908 are males and 18,531 are females. The literacy rate is 70.04%.
2010 Assembly Election Results
• Winner in 2010 Assembly Poll: Shyam Deo Paswan, BJP
• Margin of win: 11,213 votes ; 9.19 % of total valid votes
• Runner-up: Kumar Sarvjeet, LJP
• Male voters: 63,535; Female voters: 58,463; Total: 122,013
• Polling %: 51.26
• Male Candidates who contested: 10; Female Candidates: 0
• Polling stations: 294
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