If exit polls projections come true, Chirag could fulfil his father’s want to unseat Kumar

Mukesh Ranjan
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 9

If the actual results of Bihar assembly elections mirror the exit polls projections, Chirag Paswan of LJP may be able to fulfil his father late Ramvilas Paswan’s long-standing dream of unseating incumbent Nitish Kumar from power in the state.

Senior Paswan, who had died just a few days before the three-phased Bihar assembly elections, was known to have kept grudge against Kumar since the second assembly elections in the state that took place in November 2005.

Kumar, the NDA face at that time, with the help pharmaceutical baron King Mahendra from the state, managed to split LJP and took away 17 MLAs, taking the ruling alliance’s number to 144 in the 243 member assembly.

Since then, Ramvilas always sided with the parties that opposed Kumar. In 2010, his party LJP contested the election in alliance with Lalu Prasad’s RJD. In 2015, when Kumar switched sides to join hands with Lalu Prasad against BJP, LJP went with the saffron party. But on both the occasions he failed to damage the wily Nitish Kumar.

This time around senior Paswan is not on the scene, but his son Chirag decided to go alone and field candidates on all 143 seats from where JD (U) nominees are contesting and kept his campaign focused on opposing only Nitish Kumar.

Keen Bihar watchers felt that if exit polls projections mirror the actual results tomorrow, Chirag would be successful where his father wasn’t. They say all the exit polls have projected that LJP is going to get seven to ten percent of votes, which may not be sufficient for translating them into seats, but this would damage the fortunes of the JD (U). Several observers have noted how Chirag praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi throughout his campaign and that in those seats the forward caste voters, who are inimical to the RJD, had an option to vote for.

There is also a feeling among the political analysts in the state that if the Chirag factor works as projected, there is a possibility of JD(U) becoming the fourth party in terms of number of seats in the assembly.

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