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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Delhi polls: Eye on Purvanchalis, BJP & Congress ally with JD(U), RJD

Confirming the alliance with the BJP, JD(U) National General Secretary Sanjay Jha said the party will contest the two seats on its arrow symbol. The BJP said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is likely to campaign for their candidates.

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi | Updated: January 20, 2020 3:33:56 am
Eye on Purvanchalis, BJP & Cong ally with JD(U), RJD Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari at a rally with auto drivers, Sunday. BJP made Tiwari, a Purvanchali, state head in 2016

Bihar’s two main parties — Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United — will be entering Delhi’s political arena as alliance partners with Congress and BJP respectively. While the RJD will be contesting the Delhi Assembly polls from Burari, Kirari, Uttam Nagar and Palam, the JD(U) will fight from Burari and Sangam Vihar — largely Purvanchali dominated seats.

Confirming the alliance with the BJP, JD(U) National General Secretary Sanjay Jha said the party will contest the two seats on its arrow symbol. The BJP said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is likely to campaign for their candidates.

In previous Assembly polls, both parties had fielded independent candidates and could not make much of a dent in vote shares. In 2013, however, the JD(U) won one seat.

This time, seats have been given to RJD and JD(U) keeping the capital’s Purvanchal population in mind — migrants from Bihar, Eastern UP and Jharkhand who make up 30% of the capital’s population. The constant rise in their numbers has had a commensurate effect on their participation in the city’s electoral politics.

Post 2000, Congress’s Mahabal Mishra was seen as a Purvanchali leader who gave refuge and job opportunities to many people from Bihar in his West Delhi constituency. AAP, in the last elections, fielded 13 Purvanchalis who went on to win, while the BJP made Manoj Tiwari, a Purvanchali, state president.

As per a survey by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, the Purvanchali population is dominant in about 16 of capital’s 70 Assembly seats.

CSDS director Sanjay Kumar said, “It could be a larger game plan to give a clear signal before the Bihar polls, which is next.”

“Secondly, one might not necessarily see these two parties and their policies as being responsible for people leaving the state… sometimes, familiarity with regional parties might make people support them…,” he said.

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