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Won’t campaign for tainted candidates in Bihar: BJP MP RK Singh

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Patna: BJP parliamentarian RK Singh, after embarrassing his party with accusations of giving tickets to criminals and tainted persons for the Bihar assembly polls in return for money, said on Wednesday that he would not campaign for such candidates.

“I will not campaign for any such party candidate in the Bihar assembly polls,” said Singh, a former union home secretary and a Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Ara.

He said the BJP had fielded tainted candidates but denied tickets to several popular sitting legislators who had a clean image and enjoyed good support in their constituencies.

This action of the party has angered BJP workers and supporters in different districts of Bihar, the BJP MP said.

The former IAS officer belongs to the powerful Rajput upper caste, which will play an important role in caste-ridden Bihar politics.

Earlier, RK Singh said the family members of certain BJP leaders and criminals were given tickets at the cost of committed party workers.

BJP legislator Vikram Kunwar on Sunday said the party had “sold ticket” to jailed former parliamentarian Mohammad Shahabuddin’s shooter Manoj Singh for Rs 2 crore.

“The BJP denied a ticket to me, a sitting legislator, but sold the ticket to Shahabuddin’s shooter Manoj for Rs 2 crore,” said Kunwar, the BJP legislator from Raghunathpur assembly segment in Siwan district.

Another BJP legislator and former minister, Chandramohan Rai also accused the party of “selling” tickets to criminals.

According to a survey by non-profit Association for Democratic Reforms, 99 candidates facing criminal charges are in fray in the Bihar assembly polls.

The BJP has fielded 47 candidates who face criminal charges, including 12 who face serious charges of murder, kidnapping, extortion and looting.

The BJP is contesting 160 of the 243 assembly seats in Bihar, its allies Lok Janshakti Party 40 seats, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party 23 seats and Hindustani Awam Morcha 20 seats.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Why JDU & BJP Coalition Will Remain Intact

JDU knows that this 15-16% votes is not enough to help the party and for the BJP too, only the 17% votes of upper castes are not sufficient

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Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi.
Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi.

By Sagarneel Sinha

There have been lots of discussions among the political circles that JDU led by Bihar Chief
Minister Nitish Kumar is upset with the BJP and trying to send signals to erst allies — RJD and the Congress. This led to speculations that Nitish may once again join the Grand Alliance (GA) leaving the NDA camp. Already, RJD’s new commander Tejasvi Yadav has clearly stated that Nitish led JDU will not be welcomed in the GA. Despite all the odds, if (suppose) GA partners accommodate Nitish, he wouldn’t be the driving force of the alliance as in 2015. Also, Nitish cannot afford to go alone like in 2014 when his party fetched only 2 seats!

Then which is the correct way for JDU? It is to go with the BJP in the upcoming 2019 polls.
JDU’s advantage in this case is the present situation of the BJP. Currently, the saffron party is not in a strong position as the party would be facing anti-incumbency from a strong RJD led alliance in the state. BJP’s traditional voters are the upper castes who account for 17% of the electorate. This votebank is not enough for the party to help to win elections. The main opposition party — RJD still commands over a larger votebank than BJP. RJD is still a dominant force among the Yadavs and the Muslims who account for 31% of the population. It means BJP has to minus the 31% votes and rely on the rest — 69%. Out of these, 16% are the Mahadalits — a large portion of whom generally hail Nitish Kumar as their leader. Also, there are Kurmis, an OBC group consisting of 4% votes — considered as the supporters of JDU. Nitish Kumar himself is also a Kurmi.

Nitish Kumar Invited to Join NDA by Amit Shah After JDU-BJP Tie-up in Bihar
Nitish Kumar Invited to Join NDA by Amit Shah After JDU-BJP Tie-up in Bihar.

JDU knows that this 15-16% votes is not enough to help the party and for the BJP too, only the 17% votes of upper castes are not sufficient. However, if these votebanks are joined together they form around 31-32%. Plus, to gain the extra votes, both the parties have the option to rely on the personal charisma of Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, there is a power tussle between the two allies to get a respectable share of seats.

This power tussle is because of a strong BJP which earlier used to be a junior ally. The 2014 Lok Sabha elections changed the political scenario of the state where BJP emerged as the largest party in terms of vote share and seats. JDU knows the reality of a new emerging BJP, though it is pushing hard to gain a respectable share of seats for the Lok Sabha elections. Instead, Nitish Kumar has another option — giving the bigger chunk to the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections and the latter playing the junior partner for the 2020 assembly elections if held timely. Given the current situation in the country, in a crucial state like Bihar, BJP can hardly reject JDU as the later still commands over 15-16% votes — a very crucial votebank for winning maximum seats in the 2019 polls. Importance of JDU can also be explained by BJP president Amit Shah’s visit to Patna to have breakfast and dinner with Nitish Kumar. Though in politics there are no permanent friends or foes, so any perfect prediction is impossible. But given the current situation, JDU and BJP parting their ways seems unlikely as both the parties are in need of each other as already highlighted by Amit Shah that the two allies would fight the Lok Sabha elections together. Smiling face of Nitish Kumar was also an indication that the meetings with Amit Shah were fine.

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