Former Home Secretary and BJP MP from Ara RK Singh, surprised his own party when he alleged that tickets were being sold out to criminals while sitting MLAs were being ignored.
Refuting his claim, senior party members like Rajnath Singh, Siddharth Singh, Nalin Kohli and CP Thakur all came out to reject the claim saying it was his individual opinion and that each ticket was given after considering all factors, including the candidate’s background. They further added that alliance partners were free to take their own decisions in allocating tickets to candidates as they deemed fit, thereby distancing themselves from any controversy that may arise from RK Singh’s public statement.
While it is true that sitting MLAs had been ignored in some cases, it is equally true that the merits of each seat was thoroughly discussed before the decision on ticket distribution was taken. Also, RK Singh has not been specific about his accusation and left it as a general statement.
LJP exposes itself
LJP’s Chirag Paswan tried to take moral high ground in support of RK Singh saying that all parties must refrain from giving tickets to candidates with dubious background. The statement sounded hollow coming from someone whose party has given tickets to relatives of several criminals in the past. The best example is that of Surajbhan Singh, who has several serious criminal cases against him. Since he was barred from standing for elections, LJP, Chirag Paswan’s party, gave his wife a ticket instead, as recent as 2014 Lok Sabha elections. She is now the sitting MP.
Continuing with dynasty politics, LJP also announced its state party Chief and Chirag Paswan’s uncle, Pashupati Kumar Paras, would stand from Rajapakar constituency, in addition to the Alauli seat he is already contesting. This further consolidates the view that all parties have made dynasty politics the norm, thereby reducing chances for others, including fresh blood, from entering politics.
Hardik Patel jumps into poll fray in possible support of Nitish Kumar
Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who has been in the news leading the Patel community agitation for his community to be included in the reservation category, landed at Ranchi airport yesterday on the invitation of Kurmi Vikas Morcha and will be attending rallies in West Bengal and Jharkhand. Speaking to reporters at the Ranchi airport, Hardik Patel announced that he saw no reason not to support Nitish Kumar as he too was from the same community. If he jumps into active campaigning in Bihar, it is certain to raise hackles within BJP which sees all Patels as part of their support group back home in Gujarat. The Patel community living in the US had planned protests during Narendra Modi’s visit to the US but backed off at the last minute.
Nitish Kumar warns people against false promises of the BJP
Nitish Kumar hit the campaign trail addressing the Uchcha Shiksha Gramin Pratishthan rally in Birauli of Kalyanpur constituency in Samastipur district on Saturday, with a warning to people not to repeat the mistake they made in reposing their faith in the NDA, as they did during the 2014 Lok Sabha Polls.
Taking on Narendra Modi and the NDA government, he rubbed in the point that the so-called Rs 1.25 lakh crore package was simply re-packaging of earlier announced schemes and had only around Rs 5,000 crore in new addition. This too was doubtful given NDA’s record of backtracking on various promises. He also spoke about the threat of reservations being done away, with reference to Sangh leader Mohan Bhagwat’s recent statement that reservations should be reviewed.
Speaking on his party’s 7-point agenda, he promised to promote education by subsidizing the interest by 3% on educational loans up to Rs 4 lakh. With an eye on the youth, he announced Rs 1,000 a month stipend for nine months that could be availed twice by any youth between 20 and 25 years of age. He has already announced a student credit card scheme for students of class XII.
In an obvious attempt to win support of women voters, he announced 35% reservation in government jobs for women. This is certainly going to be welcomed by women voters. He also announced free power supply connection to every household and piped water supply to 16 lakh homes in Bihar.
An unfortunate feature of these elections has been that all parties are focusing too much on pulling down each other rather focusing on ‘development’ which is a major concern of all people from all communities. Somehow, this message is being missed out by all and it seems poll strategy this time is more about caste equations than development.
Politician in focus: Tariq Anwar, NCP (Born 16 January, 1951)
Tariq Anwar, the sitting Lok Sabha MP from Katihar, was born in Patna to Shah Mushtaq Ahmed and Bilquis Jahan. Tariq Anwar comes from a family of freedom fighters, His grandfather, Barrister Shah Zubair represented Bihar in the Council of States and also served as the President of the Bihar and Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee. He was a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi and remained active during the freedom struggle.
Tariq Anwar’s father, late Shah Mushtaq Ahmed was a well-known writer, journalist and editor of several publications besides having served as a Member in the Bihar Legislative Assembly.
Tariq Anwar himself has been long time into politics and spent most of his career as a member of the Congress party. He has been a five time MP to the Lok Sabha and has served on various Committees.
Constituency in focus: Siwan
Siwan is a district that was carved out of Saran division in 1972. Siwan is a historical town and was once part of the Kosala Kingdom. Spread over 2,219 sq km, Siwan district has a total population of 33,30,464 lakh people, of which males comprise 16,75,090 and females 16,55,374, as per Census 2011.
2010 Assembly Election Results
• Winner in 2010 Assembly Poll: Vyasdeo Prasad, BJP
• Margin of win: 12,541 votes; 10.74% of total valid votes
• Runner-up: Avadhvihari Chaudhry, RJD
• Male voters: 60,614; Female voters: 56,088; Total: 116,826
• Polling %: 51.41
• Male Candidates who contested: 22; Female Candidates: 2
• Polling stations: 226
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