Patliputra LS seat: It's a Yadav vs Yadav contest
Lalu’s daughter Misa Bharti, old confidant Ram Kripal, BJP, are aiming high with their prestige at stake
New Delhi: The Patliputra Lok Sabha constituency, which was created after the delimitation of 2008, is set to witness a very tight fight as Lalu Prasad's elder daughter Misa Bharti, who was fielded as RJD candidate after rejecting the candidature of RJD's old warhorse in 2014 election, is again in the poll arena to take on Ramkripal Yadav.
The prestige of both Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi Yadav is at stake as Misa Bharti has been fielded against the 'wishes' of Tejashwi Yadav. The RJD had 'wanted' to field Maner MLA Bhai Virendra from the high profile Patliputra seat in 2019 polls. Though the contest is Yadav vs Yadav and the best Yadav would win the game.
Interestingly, even though the Patliputra Lok Sabha seat is a completely Yadav-dominated, Lalu Prasad who had contested in 2009 general elections had faced an unprecedented defeat.
Notably, Lalu Prasad had contested from Patliputra seat in 2009 when the BJP's key ally JD(U) had 'restricted' incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi from holding the election rallies in Bihar.
In the neck to neck fight, the RJD supremo had faced unprecedented defeat by JD(U) candidate Ranjan Yadav, who had switched his side from RJD. Lalu Prasad had lost the seat by 24,000 votes, while CPI(ML) candidate Rameshwar Prasad, who had secured 36,000 votes, was at the third position. Later on, Ranjan Yadav became a member of BJP in 2015.
The election of 2014 had become more interesting after Lalu Prasad, who was banned from contesting elections preferred his family member over his old confident and fielded elder daughter Misa Bharti to wrest the prestigious seat.
As like Lalu Prasad, Bharti too failed to wrest the seat and lost it to BJP's Ramkripal Yadav, who had started his political career under the tutelage of Lalu Prasad.
Bharti, who faced the defeat by a margin of 40,332 votes, had scored 3,42,940 votes, while BJP nominee Ramkripal Yadav had scored 3,83,262 votes out of the total 9,78,649 votes polled in 2014.
According to political experts, the contest is going to be very close as Yadav voters are now stand divided. "Given that both the leaders represent the same community, the best candidate would make it to the final.
The circumstances for Misa Bharti have become little favourable in comparison to 2014," the expert said, adding that during the 2014 polls the sympathy of Yadavs was with Ramkripal as he was being 'ditched' by Lalu Prasad.
"The situation is all different in 2019 polls as voters of the area are now counting the development works being done by sitting MPs for the community. Voters are judging both the leaders on the parameters of their performance," the expert said, adding that the contest is all about who has done what in the last 5 years for the area and the community. It's worth mentioning that Misa Bharti was elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha in June 2016.
The Patliputra Lok Sabha constituency has six assembly seats --- Danapur, Maner, Phulwari (SC), Masaurhi (SC), Paliganj and Bikram. There are about 5 lakh Yadavs, 3 lakh Bhumihars and 4 lakh Kurmi voters in the parliamentary constituency which has about 16.5 lakh voters. Prior to delimitation, Patna was the Bihar's capital seat which was divided into two Lok Sabha seats – Patliputra and Patna Sahib. Patliputra comprises of rural areas while Patna Sahib comprises of mostly urban areas.