There are no more safe seats in Bihar. Traditional Lok Sabha constituencies where elections used to be a cakewalk for leaders,have either been reserved,reshuffled or merged with some other seats. In fact,delimitation has changed the shape of most of the 40 constituencies in the state,sending caste equations haywire,and leaving several RJD,LJP and JD(U) bigwigs wondering where they will contest from this time.
Prominent among those who find themselves on shaky ground are Gopalganj MP and Lalu Prasad Yadavs brother-in-law Anirudh Prasad alias Sadhu Yadav. Among RJD MPs,he faces the toughest challenge and may have to move from the reserved Gopalganj seat to West Champaran (previously Betia). RJD sources say Union Minister Raghunath Jha has reportedly agreed to concede his seat to Sadhu and shift to Valmiki Nagar.
The party high command will accommodate individuals affected by delimitation, says RJD spokesperson Shyam Rajak.
JD(U) national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Shivanand Tiwari believes MP Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav,too,would have to find a new seat with Munger losing a big chunk of OBC votes. RJDs Y (Yadav) theory has gone for a toss, he quips.
Vijay Krishna,the RJD MP from Barh,who became a giant killer of sorts after defeating Nitish Kumar in the last LS election finds his seat dissolved,to be merged with Munger and Patna.
Recently,Lalu had announced that his party would put winnability of a candidate above other considerations. But what he did not say was that the party cannot overlook the caste factor in a state where most people do not cast their vote but vote for their caste.
The worst-hit by the changed caste equations seems to be RJD MP Ramkripal Yadav whose Patna seat has been divided into Patna Saheb and Pataliputra. While Patna Saheb is upper caste dominated,Yadavs and Bhumihars will hold the key to Pataliputra. With reports that Lalu is likely to contest from Pataliputra as well,it will become all the more difficult for Ramkripal to find a safe seat. The party has to also look for replacements for Mohammed Shahabuddin and Pappu Yadav in Siwan and Madhepura,respectively. The two convicted leaders cannot contest this time and the party is not sure who can fill their void.
The LJP,too,finds its safe seats scrambled. Party chief Ram Vilas Paswans brother Ramchandra Paswans Rosera seat has been dereserved. He will shift base to the reserved Samastipur seat.
The ruling JD(U),however,does not appear worried. Delimitation is not a worry. The NDA will ride home on the development mantra of Nitish Kumar, says Tiwari.
Sadhu Yadav (RJD): May contest from West Champaran
Raghunath Jha (RJD): May contest from Valmiki Nagar,conceding his traditional seat to Sadhu
Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav (RJD): May contest from Bhagalpur
RamKripal Yadav (RJD): Clueless about his options
Vijay Krishna (RJD): Has to find a new seat
Alok Kumar Mehta (RJD): Has to find a new seat
Lallan Singh (JD-U): May shift to Munger
Mina Singh (JD-U): Faced with new caste equations
Kailash Baitha (JD-U): Likely to shift to Gopalganj
Ramchandra Paswan (LJP): May move to Samastipur (reserved)
Ranjita Ranjan (LJP): May contest from newly-carved Supaul seat
OLD AND NEW
Bagha Valmiki Nagar
Betia West Champaran
Motihari East Champaran
Patna Pataliputra and Patna Saheb
Barh areas go to Munger and Patna
Reserved seats 2004: Bagha,Hajipur,Rosera,Araria,Sasaram,Nawada and Gaya
Reserved seats 2009: Hajipur,Gaya,Jamui,Gopalganj,Samastipur and Sasaram