Millennium Post

It's Cong's Kayastha vs BJP's Kayastha at hot seat Bankipur

New Delhi: With the declaration of Shatrughan Sinha's actor son Luv Sinha as the Congress nominee from Bankipur assembly constituency in Patna district, it has become "ery tough" for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to retain the 'hot' seat again for the third time in a row.

However, this seat has been dominated by the BJP for the last two times as the constituency was christened as Bankipur during 2010 assembly polls after the delimitation exercise. The seat is represented by BJP MLA Nitin Nabin, the son of noted BJP leader late Navin Kishore Prasad Sinha who had died under "mysterious" circumstances in 2006.

With the entry of Luv Sinha into the political arena, there are four key contenders in the fray for the hot seat, which will go for the polls in the second phase of assembly election scheduled on November 3. Other two candidates in fray are Plurals Party chief ministerial candidate Pushpam Priya Choudhary and BJP's rebel leader Sushma Sahu.

As the Bankipur assembly seat has over 3 lakh voters and the Kayastha voters are in the majority followed by Vaishya, Muslims, Dalits, Yadavs, Brahmans, Rajputs and others, the entry of Shatrughan Sinha's son into the fray may play a spoilsport for the BJP nominee as Sinha has also a strong support base among Kayastha voters.

The situation is not going to be like it was in 2015 for the BJP candidate, who had always faced "weak" candidates, as Sahu, who is a Vaishya, would create another hurdle for the BJP in retaining the seat, while Pushpam Priya, who is a Brahmin and youth icon, is posing another challenge for the BJP candidate. As per the political experts of the area, Congress is aiming to divide the Kayastha vote share, which in the majority, as the core voters of Mahagathbandhan is already intact.

"Whatever the votes that Shushma Sahu or Pushpam Priya would get, it would be of BJP's share, while the votes of Muslims and Yadavs would go into the kitty of Congress candidate," the experts said, adding that there above 60,000 Vaishya voters, above 30,000 Muslim voters and more than 25,000 Yadav voters in the constituency.

In 2015, the Congress had fielded a politically least-known face Kumar Ashish, who had managed to get above 40,000 votes when there was only 40 per cent turnout. The BJP candidate Nabin had won the seat with a margin of about 86,000.

In 2010, Binod Kumar Srivastava, the personal assistant of Lalu Prasad Yadav was pitted against BJP by the RJD. Srivastava had got about 17,000 votes when RJD, Congress had contested separately.

Besides all these, the anti-incumbency factor is also against the sitting BJP MLA.

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