The NDA on Saturday announced its candidates for 39 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The lists released by the BJP and JD(U), which are contesting 17 seats each, are dominated by upper caste and OBC/EBC candidates.
Of 17 candidates, BJP has given tickets to 10 upper castes, five OBCs, one EBC and one scheduled caste candidate.
As widely expected, the party has denied the Patna Sahib ticket to rebel MP Shatrughan Sinha and has fielded Union minister and prominent upper caste Kayastha leader Ravi Shankar Prasad. The saffron party has also replaced Madhubani MP Hukumdev Narayan Yadav with his son Ashok Yadav. BJP has fielded local MLA and upper caste Brahmin leader Gopalji Thakur from Darbhanga as sitting MP Kirti Azad has joined the Congress. Click here more election news
The BJP has managed to persuade Union Minister Giriraj Singh to contest from Begusarai. Singh had been upset as his Nawada seat went to LJP, which has fielded muscleman and former MP Suraj Bhan’s brother Chandan Kumar. Begusarai now braces for a battle between CPI candidate Kanhaiya Kumar, Giriraj Singh and possible RJD candidate Tanveer Hasan.
While there are only a few surprises from the BJP with the party retaining its winning candidates in 12 seats, it has fielded OBC leader Pradeep Singh from Araria, a seat held by RJD.
The JD(U) has tried to supplement and balance the social combination by fielding six OBC and as many EBC candidates. It has also fielded two upper caste, two scheduled caste and one Muslim candidate — Mehmood Ashraf will contest from Kishanganj. JD(U) has gone back to its EBC and Koeri-Kurmi vote combination. It has fielded Vijay Manjhi opposite Grand Alliance candidate Jitan Ram Manjhi from Gaya.
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has not sprung any surprises in deciding its candidates for its six allocated seats. Ram Vilas Paswan has kept three seats for his family members. His brother Pashupati Kumar Paras and Ram Chandra Paswan will contest from reserved seats of Samastipur and Hajipur respectively, and son Chirag Paswan from another reserved sitting seat of Jamui. The LJP has not decided the candidate for Khagaria seat.