THE THIRD front in Bihar, the Grand Democratic Secular Front, which was hoping to be kingmaker at best or a good spoiler at the least, failed to make any major dent this election. While the Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), which heads this Front, failed to secure a single seat from among the 104 it contested, the alliance’s best showing was by the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM, which won two seats and is leading in three (it fought on 20 seats). Another partner, the BSP, won one seat (out of 80).
Besides the RLSP, AIMIM and BSP, the Suhaldev Bharatiya Samaj Party and former RJD MP Devendra Yadav’s Samajwadi Janata Dal Democratic Party and Janatantrik Party (Socialist) make up this Front. In the 2015 Assembly polls, the RLSP had got over 3.6 per cent of the votes, winning two seats, and the BSP a little over 2 per cent, without winning any.
The other smaller players this election – the Mukesh Sahani-led Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP), and Pappu Yadav’s Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) — failed to create any impact. VIP, which fought on 11 seats as part of the NDA, won two seats while it led in two. But the big setback for the party was Sahani’s loss from Simri Bakhtiarpur to Yusuf Salahuddin of the RJD by a margin of around 2,000 votes. Sahani had quit the Mahagathbandhan over differences with Tejashwi Yadav.
Another NDA partner, the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) led by former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, however, did reasonably well with the party winning one seat and leading in three. The party had contested seven seats, part of the JDU’s share of 122. Manjhi won from Imamganj seat, securing 78,509 votes against Uday Narain Choudhary of the RJD.
However, Pappu Yadav alias Rajesh Ranjan, former Madhepura MP and chief of the Jan Adhikar Party, lost from Madhepura seat to Nikhil Mandal of the JDU. Yadav, who has limited influence beyond the Kosi region and the adjoining Seemanchal belt of Purnea, had forged a front called the Progressive Democratic Alliance (PDA) with Chandrashekhar Azad’s Azad Samaj Party.
Similarly, Pushpam Priya Chaudhry, the London-educated daughter of a Janata Dal-United leader in Darbhanga, who had declared herself the CM candidate, failed to make any impact in the two seats where she is fighting — Bankipur and Bisfi.
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