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Upper castes, Pappu Yadav: Decisive factors in Bihar poll?

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Rajesh Ranjan "Pappu Yadav" at his house in New Delhi on 04/05/2009. A special CBI court convicted Pappu Yadav in the Ajit Sarkar murder case. Photo by Shailendra Pandey/Tehelka
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Upper caste voters and the Jana Adhikar Party of Pappu Yadav may significantly influence results of the coming Bihar assembly elections. While the JD(U)-RJD-Congress combine has been leaving no stone unturned to give the electoral battle a forward versus backward caste character, recent voting patterns, however, indicate that the BJP-led NDA enjoys an advantage on this count too.

Contrary to the calculations of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and one of his predecessors, Lalu Prasad Yadav, upper castes constituting 14-15 percent of the total voters may turn out to be important factors given their monolithic pattern of voting as shown in the April-May 2014 Lok Sabha elections and the by-elections later on. In the parliamentary poll 78 percent of upper caste voters had cast in favour of the NDA, the highest in the overall voting pattern by any social group.

Various opinion surveys are pointing out that this time too, the trend is likely to remain the same although there are murmurs of discontent among the upper castes against the Narendra Modi government’s failure to increase the minimum support price of agricultural commodities and the prime minister’s attempt to amend the land acquisition act. In addition to the upper caste voters, the Vaishyas, constituting about six percent of the electorate, are likely to remain on the NDA’s side.

Contrary to this picture, the Yadavs, constituting about 14 percent of the electorate, are now a divided lot. During the 2014 parliamentary election also, the Yadav votes got fragmented and a significant section had voted for the BJP. But this time, the scenario has become more complicated for Lalu Prasad Yadav as the popularity graph of Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, a former RJD stalwart and now the leader of the Jana Adhikar Party, is showing continuous signs of increase.

Pappu’s outfit is now an important constituent of the Third Front led by the Samajwadi Party and he draws his strength mostly from the younger sections of Yadav voters. Although much of the national-level media has described him as a ‘vote katwa’ (spoiler), Papuu may show unexpected results in the Kosi belt comprising the districts of Supaul, Madhepura and Saharsha and in the neighbouring Muslim dominated Seemanchal region comprising the districts of Araria, Purnea, Katihar and Kishengunj.

Together, these two regions have 37 assembly seats. As the NDA is weak in this region the JD(U)-RJD-Congress combine could hope to consolidate its tally from here had it not been for Pappu’s presence. In the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, the BJP could not open its account in the seven seats of these two regions. The Kosi belt has 13 assembly seats. Of them the BJP has only one – Saharsha.

These are the two areas both Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav were targeting, given the latter’s famous formula of Muslim-Yadav combination. Recent years have however witnessed the rapid decimation of the influence of Sharad Yadav, the JD-U president, in the Kosi belt and the gradual passing off of the mantle to Pappu. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Pappu and his wife Ranjita Ranjan had won the Madhepura and Supaul seats. The most interesting part of their victory was the fact that while Pappu had won as a RJD candidate, his wife won on the Congress ticket. It showed that they can attract Yadav votes irrespective of party affiliation.

On the whole, the NDA is aiming for an upper caste-extreme backward caste(EBC)-Dalit consolidation. It has reasons to be optimistic in this segment as in the last Lok Sabha poll, 42 percent of the Dalits and 53 percent of EBC voters had voted for the NDA. Interestingly the EBC voters constitute 24 percent of the state electorate. Moreover, for making inroads into the Yadav camp, the BJP-led NDA has this time nominated 26 Yadav candidates. In addition, Pappu’s outfit is contesting 64 seats. So, all eyes will be fixed on the electoral behavior of the Yadavs.

This community’s leadership question is now at cross-roads. It enjoyed a modicum of sober leadership during the time of Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav. But its next messiah, Lalu Prasad, is a convicted man now.

Rabri Devi, Lalu’s wife, lost in the 2005 assembly poll. In 2010, she lost in two seats and in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll she again lost in Saran. Lalu experimented by fielding his daughter Misa for the Pataliputra parliamentary seat in 2014. But Misa also lost, though the constituency has a large Yadav concentration.

(by Amitava Mukherjee ,IANS)
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Facts About Parliament Of India You Didn’t Know Before

Parliament of India is the supreme legislative authority in India

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Parliament of India is a source of interest for many people because of various reasons. Wikimedia Commons
Parliament of India is a source of interest for many people because of various reasons. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma 

  • Parliament of India is the supreme legislative authority in India
  • Indian Parliament is divided into two houses – Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
  • Indian Parliament is one of the biggest and has a very intricate architecture

Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India. It controls and creates all the bills and laws in the country. Parliament of India is bicameral. It is divided into two parts namely Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Lok Sabha is called the Lower House and Rajya Sabha is referred to as the Upper House.

Parliament of India is the largest legislative authority in India.
Parliament of India is the largest legislative authority in India.

Rajya Sabha has 238 members wheres the Lok Sabha seats are 545 is number. The term of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha are 6 years and 5 years respectively. The head of the Parliament of India is the Indian President. The proceedings in Lok Sabha is controlled by the speaker of Lok Sabha whereas, in Rajya Sabha, there is a chairman.

Apart from these basic facts, here are some other interesting Indian Parliament facts you may not have known before:

  • Parliament of India is called the Sansad or Bhartiya Sansad
  • The Parliament of India is circular in shape which represents the “Continuity.” The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha halls are constructed in the shape of a horseshoe.

    The carpet colours of the halls of Lok sabha and Rajya sabha also hold significance. KPN
    The carpet colours of the halls of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha also hold significance. KPN
  • The carpets in the halls of the Parliament of India are also very significant. Lok Sabha’s hall’s carpet is green in colour which represents the people that are elected from grass root level. The hall of Rajya Sabha is adorned with red carpet which denotes royalty and is a constant remembrance of the struggle faced by our freedom fighters.

Also Read: Lok Sabha passes the Footwear Design and Development Institute Bill, 2017

  • The library in the Parliament House is the second largest library of India after the National Library in Kolkata.
  • Indian Parliament has a canteen, and it is the cheapest canteen in the country with a 3-course veg meal available for Rs. 61 only.

    Parliament of india is circular in shape which denotes continuity.
     Indian Parliament is circular in shape which denotes continuity.
  • Rishang Keishing is the oldest members who served the Parliament of India. He was a member of Rajya Sabha twice and retired at the age of 92.
  • The first female speaker of Parliament of India was Meira Kumar.
  • According to rules between two sessions of parliament, there should not be a gap of more than 6 months.

Also Read: Reservation Quota for Women in Parliament finds support at Kumaon Literature Festival

  • In Parliament of India, as per common practice, Question Hour starts at 11 a.m. where MPs put forward their questions. The Zero Hour starts at 12 noon where MPs can discuss general questions.
  • The office of President in the Parliament is in the room no. 13, which is considered inauspicious by many.