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Elections 2024, Bihar parties start setting their caste equations right



Eyeing 2024, Bihar parties start setting their caste equations right

Patna: In view of the Lok Sabha elections 2024, the political parties of Bihar are making strategies according to the strength of castes and communities.In Bihar, Yadavs are considered as the biggest caste but when it comes to the

Lok Sabha elections, only five Yadav candidates had won in the 2019 polls.

The people of the Rajput caste have lower numbers compared to Yadavs, Kushwaha, Muslims and even Kurmis but seven Rajput candidates had won in 2019 and reached the Lok Sabha. Among them, five belong to the BJP and two to the JD-U.

After the release of Bahubali don Anand Mohan Singh, the BJP claimed that the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) leaders will not benefit from their moves as a large number of Rajput leaders are already present in his party.

“The RJD and JD-U alliance is determined to fight the 2024 Lok Sabha poll with the appeasement of Muslims and a caste based strategy. On the other hand, the BJP is against the criminalisation of politics. So our agenda is clear but whatever efforts are made by the leaders of the Mahagathbandhan through criminalising politics will prove futile,” said Nikhil Anand, national general secretary of the BJP.

The Mahagathbandhan government in Bihar took a big gamble with the release of Anand Mohan to strengthen its position among the Rajput community in the state.

For the BJP there is Sushil Kumar Singh, a prominent Rajput leader representing Aurangabad, former Union minister Radha Mohan Singh from Motihari, another ex Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy from Saran, Janardan Singh Sigriwal from Maharajganj and RK Singh from Arrah Lok Sabha constituency.

On the other hand, the JD-U has Kavita Singh, wife of Ajay Singh from Siwan and Veena Devi from Vaishali who won the Lok Sabha poll on the ticket of the Lok Janshakti Party and is now with Pasupati Paras’s Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party. Sources said that Kavita Singh’s husband is a leader who believes in chanting Jai Shri Ram, but at election time he may not be sure where he would go.

Keeping this in view, the position of the BJP led NDA is stronger than the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar. This could be the reason why Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav have taken the gamble to release Anand Mohan Singh by amending the prison law.

“The release of Anand Mohan has taken place as per the law. The Mahagathbandhan government has not opted for the move for political benefit or loss. The Bihar government has followed the rules of the Central government and removed one point which was marking differences between the common and important people. It has released 27 persons and Anand Mohan is one of the beneficiaries,” said Mritunjay Tiwari, national spokesperson of the RJD.

The image of Anand Mohan Singh in Bihar is of a Bahubali don and the Mahagathbandhan which wants the votes of the Rajput community, batted for him. He could be influential in Saharsa, Sheohar, Purnea, Motihari, Maharajganj, Siwan and other Rajput dominated constituencies.

Bihar has 40 Lok Sabha seats and 6 of them are reserved for SC and ST. As per the 2019 Lok Sabha poll results, seven Rajput leaders had won the contest which means they have more than 20% seats despite their numbers being low. One of the main reasons for this is the unity among the Rajput caste. They strategically vote for their candidates while other castes may not.

The Patna High Court has put an interim stay on the caste based census and hence no one knows which caste has what strength. Still, there is an assumption that the Yadav caste has the highest numbers in the state.

The RJD is considered a party of the Muslims and the Yadavs. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, 5 candidates from the Yadav caste were elected. Three of them — Ashok Kumar Yadav representing Madhubani, Ram Kripal Yadav of Patliputra and Nityanand Rai of Ujiyarpur — are from the BJP and two MPs, Dinesh Chandra Yadav and Girdhari Yadav representing Madhepura and Banka respectively are from the JD-U.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the RJD did not win a single seat from Bihar. Its performance in the Muslim dominant Seemanchal area was also not good.

During the assembly election of 2020, everyone knew that the RJD failed to reach the majority figure only due to the Owaisi factor. When Asaduddin Owaisi is in the fray in any election, it makes the comfort level high for the BJP. They know that the Owaisi led AIMIM will cut the votes of the non-BJP alliance.

The AIMIM is expected to contest the Lok Sabha polls 2024 in Muslim dominant Kishanganj, Purnea, Araria and Katihar constituencies. Besides, it may also contest in Gopalganj, Siwan and Sheohar. So the road for the RJD is not easy in 2024 despite its leaders thinking that they are with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and also in power in Bihar.

Caste equation is a different thing and winning the election is different. Leaders of the Rajput caste may not be in a majority but they win as their voters are united while the Mahagathbandhan, and especially the RJD, is facing the challenge of not having winning candidates.

The RJD has Jagadanand Singh, the state president of the party, but he is continuously losing elections. His son Sudhakar Singh is not a trusted leader even within the RJD. But Bahubali leader of Vaishali Rama Singh is someone who may change the fortunes of the RJD.

For the JD-U there are leaders like Sanjay Singh, Lesi Singh and Manjit Singh but none of them has the capacity to challenge the BJP’s present MPs. The JD-U needs a firebrand Rajput leader of the status of Anand Mohan Singh to make some inroads in the Rajput vote bank. The leaders of the Mahagathbandhan also know that people from the upper castes are traditional voters of the BJP in Bihar.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the NDA including the BJP, the JD-U and the LJP had won 39 out of the 40 seats of Bihar with the BJP getting 17, the JD-U 16 and the LJP 6 while the Kishanganj seat went to the Congress.

In 2024, if the BJP gets less than 17 seats it would mean that the Modi wave is subsiding in Bihar. On the other hand, if the Nitish Kumar led Mahagathbandhan manages to win more than 30 seats in Bihar, it will strengthen his position among the opposition parties.

The BJP has an alliance with smaller parties like the Chirag Paswan led Lok Janshakti Party Ram Vilas (LJPR), Pasupati Kumar Paras led Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party (RLJP), Upendra Kushwaha led Rashtriya Lok Janata Dal (RLJD) and former Union minister RCP Singh.

The Mahagathbandhan has seven parties — the JD-U, RJD, Congress, HAM, CPI-ML, CPI-M and the CPI.

The party of Mukesh Sahani has not shown its cards yet but his inclination is more towards the BJP rather than the Mahagathbandhan. Besides the Modi wave, anti-incumbency against the central government, inflation, Hindutva, jobs given by the Nitish Kumar government will also be tested. The BJP will go for a bipolar contest on the lines of Muslims versus Jai Shri Ram while the Mahagathbandhan will depend on raising the issues of inflation, job promises of the Centre and failures of the Narendra Modi government.

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AAP legislator’s relative opens fire in Delhi



AAP legislator’s relative opens fire in Delhi

A relative of an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator in Delhi reportedly opened fire on some persons in Krishna Nagar market following a property-related dispute. The police said that they were looking into the matter.

A senior police officer said that on Sunday, they got a call at around 11.45 a.m. regarding the incident.

The caller told the police that said that fire had been opened in Krishna Nagar’s Friends Centre Market.

“Upon verification, it was found that one Sonu who came out of the gym had a quarrel with a group of known persons. One of the persons fired from a pistol. No one was injured in the firing. The accused are known to victim and they have previous enmity over a property-related dispute,” a police officer said.

The police officer said that a case was registered and a few persons were rounded off in the matter.

The official said that teams were conducting raids to nab the accused.

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‘This is not PM Modi’s defeat’, says Bommai after BJP loses in K’taka



‘This is not PM Modi’s defeat’, says Bommai after BJP loses in K’taka

‘This is not PM Modi’s defeat’, says Bommai after BJP loses in K’taka

A day after the announcement of Karnataka Assembly election results which saw the Congress emerging victorious with the required majority to form the government and the BJP crashing out of power, outgoing Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said “the loss is not the defeat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.

Bengaluru:  A day after the announcement of Karnataka Assembly election results which saw the Congress emerging victorious with the required majority to form the government and the BJP crashing out of power, outgoing Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said “the loss is not the defeat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.

“This is not PM Modi’s defeat as he came here only for the campaign. The Congress leadership has lost in the entire country,” he told reporters near the BJP office here, adding: “It’s not correct to blame PM Modi for the BJP’s defeat in the state.”

The BJP leader said this while reacting to the Congress saying that “the BJP’s loss was PM Modi’s defeat”.

He said that all key party leaders had gathered in the BJP office and discussed the election results.

Bommai said the Karnataka unit Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president has convened a meeting of the newly-elected MLAs in the next three to four days.

After that, a meeting of all the party candidates would be convened where they would discuss threadbare and work out the strategies to strengthen the party.

“There would be no rest for the party organisation and all of them would work together for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls,” he said.

Reacting to the “fight” between Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and Karnataka unit Congress president D.K. Shivakumar over the CM’s post, Bommai wished them “all the best”.

On the implementation of poll promises by the Congress, he said “first let them form the government and after that, let’s see what they will do in the first Cabinet meeting”.

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PIL in Delhi HC claims Rahul, Kejriwal made misleading statements on loan waiver for industrialists



PIL in Delhi HC claims Rahul, Kejriwal made misleading statements on loan waiver for industrialists

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved in the Delhi High Court, charging Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of allegedly making “false and misleading statements” accusing the Union Government of waiving off loans for various industrialists during 2020-2021.

The petitioner, social worker and farmer Surjit Singh Yadav, in the PIL filed through advocate Barun Kumar Sinha, has also asked the court to direct news channels – News 24 and NDTV – to take down the two political leaders’ allegedly incorrect and misleading statements from their electronic media platforms and to Central Bureau of Investigation to file a complaint, launch an investigation and prosecute the two for making such statements intending to damage country’s image and credibility.

The PIL states: “That the Petitioner came across news items in electronic and print media where news related to waiving of loan to the tune of Rs 11 lakh crore had been broadcasted on NDTV in the year 2021.

“Similarly, News24 channel had published more than two years ago that loans of 50 loan defaulters have been waived off and that loan amount was to the tune of Rs 68,000 crore which included the name of Mehul Choksi.”

“This may have negative repercussions for the nation like foreign investment getting affected, tourism getting hampered and promotion of anarchy in the nation.”

On how this downgrades the reputation of Centre, the petitioner has said that it is well known that as per Reserve Bank of India (RBI), write off is not same as waive off but writing off loans has been shown by Respondent no 2 to 5 as waiving off loans.

“This deliberate twist to the actual meaning of writing off loans by these politicians and media outlets had created confusion in the minds of readers/viewers including in the mind of the petitioner,” Yadav claimed.

He claimed that in August last year, he served legal notices on Gandhi, Kejriwal and news organisations, requesting an apology and the removal of the offending material, but received no response.

The matter is likely to be listed on Wednesday.

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Raj Cong in-charge to soon hold meeting with warring leaders in Delhi



Raj Cong in-charge to soon hold meeting with warring leaders in Delhi

Even as Rajasthan’s former deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot on Tuesday slammed Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot saying that his leader was Vasundhara Raje and not Sonia Gandhi, party state in-charge Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has decided to call a meeting of the state leaders in the national capital, sources said.

According to the sources, the date of the meeting will be finalised soon.

The source said that Randhawa is waiting for the party’s top leadership to return from Karnataka to discuss the Rajasthan crisis.

The source also said that Randhawa has asked the senior leadership of Rajasthan and all the general secretaries and secretaries to attend the Delhi meeting.

The decision to hold the meeting in Delhi comes on a day when Pilot launched a tirade against Gehlot in Jaipur and also when former party chief Rahul Gandhi is in the state to participate in a training programme with the party workers.

Addressing a press conference in Jaipur, Pilot said, “This fact has become clear from the speech of the Chief Minister, which he delivered the day before yesterday in Dholpur.”

Pilot raised questions on Gehlot’s statement “that praised BJP leaders, but tarnished the image of the party’s own MPs and MLAs”.

On Sunday, Gehlot said that former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and two BJP leaders, namely Kailash Meghwal and Shobharani Kushwaha, helped him in saving his government.

Speaking on Gehlot’s statement, Pilot said, “Gehlot should explain why there are two faces to his statement. If he says that BJP was trying to topple the government and on the other side, he says that Raje was trying to save his government, then what does he want to say.”

He alao said that he will start his ‘Jan sangharsh padyatra’ from Ajmer to Jaipur on May 11 to highlight the issue of corruption and listen to the issues faced by the people of the state.

Pilot is continuously raising the issue of no action being taken against the corruption during BJP rule.

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Pawar snubs Sanjay Raut over ‘Saamana’ comments on NCP



Pawar snubs Sanjay Raut over ‘Saamana’ comments on NCP

Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar has said that he doesn’t read or give much credence to what is written in the ‘Saamana’ Group of newspapers of the ally Shiv Sena (UBT), here on Tuesday.

Referring to a passing remark in the ‘Saamana’ and ‘Dopahar Ka Saamana’ on Monday that Pawar had failed to create a succession line in the NCP, Pawar countered by saying, “they do not know what we are doing in our party”.

“What we decide in our party is our internal matter… Our colleagues know how our party will move forward and we are satisfied with what we are achieving. They (Saamana Group) have a right to write and criticise, we don’t consider it important from our viewpoint,” declared Pawar in a direct snub at Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut.

He made it clear that in the NCP, his colleagues say many things, express different opinions and debate, but they don’t go out and publicise it as these are internal issues.

“All my colleagues are clear that tomorrow a new leadership will be ready in this party…In 1999, when we came to power with the Congress, the NCP had many new names in the cabinet like Jayant Patil, Ajit Pawar, Dilip Valse-Patil, or R.R. Patil, who was a first-timer. They proved themselves,” asserted the NCP supremo.

Pawar also slammed Bharatiya Janata Party’s Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Congress’ former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s recent comments on the NCP.

To Fadnavis’s plea asking the voters in Karnataka to ‘send the NCP parcel’ back to Maharashtra, Pawar dismissively said that Fadnavis knows how to play word games without doing any work.

On Chavan’s allegation that ‘NCP is the BJP Team B in Karnataka’, Pawar hit back at the ally, asking what was his standing in the Congress, whether it is A, B, C, his colleagues would reveal in private.

Dwelling on the tricky issue of seat-sharing talks for the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the Maha Vikas Aghadi, Pawar said that he will soon meet former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and state Congress chief Nana Patole in the matter and it was necessary to rope in the PWP and the Left parties in it.

“There may be differing opinions, but that doesn’t mean we have any misunderstandings,” referring to the dark murmurs in political circles on the MVA’s purported squabbles on many issues.

Pawar paid homage to the late educationist, Padma Bhushan Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil (1887-1959) on his 64th death anniversary earlier in the day at his memorial, and later addressed a meeting of students and teachers of the Rayat Education Society founded by him in 1919, which has now grown to over 700 educational institutions serving the poor in the state.

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