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Old Rivals Lalu-Nitish Checkmate BJP in Bihar Bypolls

Rebonding of old rivals Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar today checkmated BJP's march in Bihar with the secular alliance winning 6 of the 10 Assembly seats where bye-elections were held on August 21.

The remaining four seats were won by BJP, the Election Commission said here.

In 2010 Assembly poll, BJP had won 6 of the 10 seats which went to polls, while RJD was victorious on 3 and JD(U) in 1.

This time, BJP won Narkatiaganj, Hajipur, Banka and Mohania (SC) seats.

RJD of Lalu Prasad was victorious in Rajnagar (SC), Chapra and Mohiuddinagar. Ruling JD(U) won in Jale and Parbatta, while Congress wrested Bhagalpur from BJP.

In Banka, BJP candidate Ramnarayan Mandal defeated his nearest RJD rival Iqbal Hussain Ansari by a slender margin of 711 votes.

The outcome of the bypoll would not have much impact on health of Jitan Ram Manjhi ministry as it already enjoys support of 145 MLAs in the 243-member House.

The outcome of the bye-elections has infused new energy in JD(U), RJD and Congress in the state after they received severe drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls.

BJP in company of LJP and RLSP of Union minister Upendra Kushwaha had won 31 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar.

RJD which had fought with Congress and NCP had won 7, while JD(U) which went solo had managed only 2 seats in the wake of "Modi wave."

The bypoll results threw some surprises. BJP which had won Narktiaganj, Jale, Chapra, Hajipur, Mohiuddinagar and Bhagalpur in 2010, lost Chapra and Mohiuddinagar to RJD and Bhagalpur to Congress in the bye-election.

BJP, however, won Banka and Mohania (SC) seats from RJD and JD(U) in the bypoll.

In Narkatiaganj in West Champaran district, BJP's Rashmi Varma defeated Fakruddin Khan of Congress by 15,742 votes. Varma, who is kin of first President Rajendra Prasad, was first considered for contest by JD(U) but after the seat went to Congress, she contested on a BJP ticket and won.

RJD gained from joining hands with Nitish Kumar which checked division of votes against BJP. In Chapra where former Chief Minister Rabri Devi had lost recent Lok Sabha poll to Rajiv Pratap Rudy, RJD candidate Randhir Singh defeated his nearest rival C N Gupta (Ind) by 24,106 votes.

Denied BJP ticket, Gupta had contested the bypoll as an Independent. BJP had fielded Kankiah Singh from Chapra and he finished third.

In Mohiuddinagar in Samastipur district, RJD's Ajay Kumar Bulgania trounced BJP's Rajesh Kumar Singh by 21,530 votes.

JD(U) candidate Ramanandan Prasad Singh registered victory with highest margin of 56,990 votes in the bypoll defeating his nearest rival Suheli Mehta of LJP.

Among NDA allies BJP had contested 9 seats, LJP had got one seat - Parbatta. Rashtriya Loktantrik Samata Party (RLSP) of Union minister Upendra Kushwaha had drawn blank in the seat-sharing.

In the secular alliance, RJD and JD(U) had contested four seats each while Congress had fielded candidates on two seats.

A low 47 per cent voting in the August 21 bypoll had created suspense about the outcome of the bye-election. But, the results today proved "Mandal forces" represented by Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar has managed to halt journey of "Kamandal" (BJP).

Expressing satisfaction over "experiment" in the bypoll results, an elated Nitish Kumar said they would try to further strengthen it in future for better outcome.

The mood in BJP, LJP and RLSP offices was subdued.

Congress benefited from the alliance as its candidate Ajeet Kumar Sharma won from Bhagalpur by 17,229 votes. BJP had been winning Bhagalpur seat continuously since 1990. Its leader Ashwani Choubey had vacated this seat after being elected to Lok Sabha from Buxar constituency.

In Hajipur, which is part of the Lok Sabha constituency of LJP chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, BJP candidate Awdesh Singh won by a margin of 6,127 votes over his nearest JD(U) competitor Rajinder Roy. BJP's victory margin there in 2010 was over 20,000 votes.

The outcome in Hajipur could have been different had rebel JD(U) candidate Dev Kumar Chaursia not entered the fray as an Independent against official nominee Rajinder Roy. Chaurasia secured 21,000 votes this time.

The bypoll in 10 seats touted as "semi final" before the crucial Assembly poll next year end indicated that BJP's victory in Lok Sabha poll was losing steam in the politically sensitive state, an analyst said.

After results of bypoll in ten seats, following is the party-wise breakup of the 243-member Bihar Assembly:

JD(U) which gained two seats has increased its tally to 119 including Speaker. BJP's tally has gone up by 4 to become 88. RJD after victory of its three candidates has enhanced its tally to 24 and Congress by one to 5. CPI has one member while there are 5 Independents.

Obra seat in Aurangabad district won by Independent Somprash Singh is vacant as the Patna High Court annulled his election recently.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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Digression

17/D-115
Sep 03, 2014
06:58 PM

For all the talk about succular alliance scoring a spectacular victory, Modi magic waning etc, etc, the real picture emerges

www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/an-inconclusive-victory/article6373688.ece

While BJP cannot take anything for granted, it did not lose anything in the by polls. I made this point on the day of the results based on pure instinct. Glad to have my instinct confirmed by data--that too in the super succular Hindu paper.

Akash Verma, Chennai
16/D-18
Aug 26, 2014
09:56 AM

It was Mandal vs Kamandal, and mandal won. It is like - no matter how times you hear Ramayana, Ram always wins and Ravana loses. In loksabha election Modi campaign as an OBC Prime ministrial candidate and won. Then he made 180 degree turn. Like Congress his government is from and for the upper castes. 

Laloo and NItish split 20 years ago due to same reason as dravadian parties parted in Tamil Nadu. BJP win in last general election was an anomaly in Bihar and UP.

Rajesh, Phoenix
15/D-131
Aug 25, 2014
11:15 PM

The people of Bihar have chosen their leaders, it should be respected though the voting is largely on caste lines and also affected by identity politics.

One should however not forget the jungle Raj of Lalu and unfortunately the majority of people of Bihar have chose jungle Raj again.

The center should support development of Bihar unpartially should the next government of Bihar also belogs to Lalu/Nitish but two things should be clear:

1. Bihar should NOT be given special economic status at any cost. Their choice of jungle Raj and consequent lagging in development should NOT be rewarded at any cost, certainly NOT at taxpayer's cost.

2. Lagging economically, Bihar will unfortunately have higher population growth down the line. That should NEVER translate to higher seats in parliament, EVER! choice of jungle Raj can not be rewarded.

I feel sorry for a big chunk of people who don't like either, especially Lalu but unfortunately, majority rules!

Bangalorean, Bangalore
14/D-127
Aug 25, 2014
10:31 PM

" It is clear demonstration of waning of Modi wave"

Succus and Modi-haters really need to understand what a wave is and what a politician can and cannot do.

In 2013, Modi campaigned in Karnataka and Congress lost. Modi campaigned in Delhi and BJP could not get a simple majority. These were cited as proofs to show there is no Modi wave. We know what happened 5 months later. BJP did better than expected in Karnataka and swept Delhi.

There is a difference between seeking votes for oneself and seeking votes for others. The latter may or may not work. It depends on a lot of other factors.

As for the wave, it consists of a crest and a trough. The crest was in 2014. One has to be a political imbecile to expect the same crest three months later. These things go up and down.

This is not the last time BJP is going to lose. It is going to lose a few more in the coming 5 years. So have fun while BJP is losing. But remember--2019 will be a different ballgame altogether.

For that matter, the Bihar elections next year will have NO resemblance to the current by-election.

BJP-JDU performed very badly in 2009 by elections and swept the state a year later.

Akash Verma, Chennai
13/D-125
Aug 25, 2014
10:14 PM

" It is clear demonstration of waning of Modi wave."

It is a clear demonstration that elections can be won by stitching together a winning coalition of castes.

Sad that a convicted politician is still able to win elections.

D.L.Narayan
Visakhapatnam, India
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