Make or break for RJD, Lalu’s two sons in fray

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 2

The elections to 94 Bihar Assembly segments in the second phase tomorrow will test the political might of former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad as both his sons are in the fray.

For 31-year-old Tejashwi Yadav, the second phase of polling could mean a make or break one as the RJD is contesting the most seats tomorrow as compared to the other parties.

Phase II: 94 seats

  • RJD contesting 56 of 94 constituencies, the max by any party
  • Congress in fray on 27 seats, BJP in 46, JDU in 43 and LJP in 52
  • Lalu’s son Tejashwi defending Raghopur, his elder brother Tej Pratap contesting from Hasanpur
  • 17 districts to witness contest

Tejashwi is defending Raghopur, a seat he wrested from the BJP’s Satish Kumar in 2015 and has put up nominees in 56 of the 94 constituencies that will go to the polls tomorrow.

The Congress is in the fray on 27 seats, BJP in 46, JDU in 43 and the LJP in 52.

Tejashwi’s elder brother Tej Pratap is also contesting from Hasanpur in Samastipur, one of the 17 districts that will witness a contest tomorrow.

Although Tejashwi can take heart from the fact that a majority of the segments voting tomorrow are flood-ravaged and voting preferences may be influenced by CM Nitish Kumar’s response to the calamity, a challenge for the RJD would be the upper caste clout that could influence voting. The NDA alliance has fielded a fair share of upper caste nominees for the second phase.

Sources said the grand alliance was hoping for issues of life and livelihood to trump the caste factor. Records show the NDA has performed better than the others in the 94 seats in the past. In 2015, the JDU- BJP combine bagged 53 of the 94 seats, while the RJD won 30, the Congress seven and the CPM one. The active presence of LJP chief Chirag Paswan is also being watched with curiosity. LJP has 52 candidates in the fray.

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