Recently, two new alliances have been formed in the state. The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM)’s Asaduddin Owaisi and the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP)’s Upendra Kushwaha have come together to form the Grand Democratic Secular Alliance.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and former RJD MP Devendra Prasad Yadav’s Samajwadi Janata Dal (Democratic) are also part of alliance that has Kushwaha as its chief ministerial candidate. While in the 2015 Assembly elections in the state the AIMIM had won just one of the six constituencies it contested in, the party got noticed in Bihar last year when it won the Kishanganj bypoll in October.
In the elections this year, both Owaisi and Kushwaha may not have a great impact on the chances of the two main alliances, but they may cut into votes of BJP, RJD and JD(U) candidates in some key constituencies. While Owaisi has considerable influence in the Muslim-dominated Seemanchal belt (Kishanganj, Katihar, Purnea and Araria), Kushwaha can get a chunk of the votes in areas such as Nalanda, Arwal, East Champaran, West Champaran and Jamui that have a sizeable Kushwaha population. The RLSP claims the support of Kushwahas, including Koeris, which account for 8% of Bihar’s population.
Another alliance has been forged by Madhepura MP Rajesh Ranjan aka Pappu Yadav, who heads the Jan Adhikar Party (JAP). He has joined hands with the Bhim Army’s Chandrashekhar Azad, who has formed the Samaj Party. But these are seasonal alliances and may not cut much ice with voters on the ground.
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