A make or mar round for BJP

A make or mar round for BJP
A make or mar round for BJP

Navin Upadhyay

New Delhi


Total Constituencies to go to poll in the third phase: 50
Total Candidates in the fray in the third phase: 808
Party-wise break up of candidates in the fray in the third phase
Bahujan Samaj Party – 47, Bharatiya Janata Party – 34, Samajwadi Party–31, CPI(ML)(L) – 27, Rashtriya Janata Dal – 25, JAP(L) – 24, Communist Party of India – 19, Janata Dal (United) – 18, LJP –10, Indian National Congress – 7, Hindustani Awam Morcha – 4, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party – 2, Independents – 276
Total number of female candidates in the third phase:71(9%)
Total Polling Station – 13, 648
Total Voters in the third phase: 1,45,18,705

  • Male Voters – 78,31,388
  • Female Voters – 66,86,718
  • Third Gender – 599

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap] prime minister holding seven rallies in two days of state assembly poll was unheard of in India. The fact that Narendra Modi has undertaken such an unprecedented exercise underlines the significance of the crucial third phase of Bihar election that could make or mar the BJP’s bid to capture power on its own in the state for the first time. In all, 50 constituencies across six districts –Bhojpur, Buxar, Nalanda, Patna, Saran, and Vaishali –go to polls in the third phase of elections in the state.

Senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav, who is one of the aspirants for the Chief Minister Post and Industry minister Shyam Rajak,a dalit face of the Janata Dal(U), are among the prominent candidates in the fray in this round.

This phase is vital for the BJP in the backdrop of reports that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance trailed by at least 15-18 seats at the end of the two phases. The BJP must square up the defect at the end of this phase and take a decisive lead in the next phase, because it is bound to trail in the Muslim-Yadav dominated Koshi and Seemanchal belt in the last phases on November 5.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]ssuming that the NDA has a deficit of the 15 seats after the first two rounds, in the third round it must win at least 33 seats so that it stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Grand alliance going into the fourth phase. Sensing that this round could decide the outcome of the staggered five-round battle, the NDA has unleashed a poll blitzkrieg that has seen the Prime Minister holding poll rallies even in small towns, something India never witnessed in the past.

The opinion is divided on such an unprecedented outreach by the PM in an assembly poll. While some feel it is sign of desperation in the NDA camp, others argue that the PM is encouraged by the crowd turn out and warm response to his rallies. Modi is leaving nothing to chance. After all, it is also his personal battle against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who had cancelled a dinner invitation to him in 2010 because he did not want to host a person who was under scanned at that time for his alleged role in the Gujarat riots.

Ahead of the third phase, the BJP has also tried to settle the Bihari vs bahri ( Outsiders) debate by giving due prominence to the state leaders in bill board and posters and by repeatedly asserting that it was Nitish Kumar who is responsible for creating a situation in the state that has forced the Bihari to become outsiders by seeking educational and employment avenues elsewhere.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]G[/dropcap]iven the caste combination, the NDA hopes to do better in the both these phases. For example, it could make a clean sweep of the all the four seats of Buxar due to numerical superiority of Brahmins, Rajputs and Vaishyas. The NDA is expected to do better than the Grand alliance in Patna, Saran, and Ara as well. On the other hand, the Grand alliance should dominate the battle of Vaishali. The picture is unclear in Muzaffarpur where the voters of extremely backward caste will have decisive say in settling the outcome.

In the third phase, the BJP is contesting 34 of the 50 seats and its allies are trying their luck on the remaining seats. In the 2010 state elections, the BJP-JD(U) combine had won an impressive 43 seats from the region while the remaining seven had gone to the RJD. Going into the round the BJP must not forget that JD(U) had won 23 seats as against the BJP’s 20 then.
This is also crucial for Union minister Ramvilas Paswan, whose Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is contesting ten seats. Paswan is a popular figure in Vaishali and adjoining Muzaffarpur where his caste men have significance presence. The Hindustani Awam Morcha, led by Mahadalit leader Jitanran Manjhi, is contesting four seats, and Kuswahata chieftain Upendra Kuswaha’s RLSP is contesting four seats.

If the BJP has to do well in this round, then Paswan, Manjhi and Kuswaha must ensure transfer of majority votes of their caste men to the NDA candidates., In the first two phases, Kuswahas vote got spilt between NDA and the Grand Alliance, and other than Paswans and Manjhis dalits and Mahadalits either voted for Nitish-Lalu combine or to the BSP.

Results on these 50 seats in 2010

Party Total Saran Vaishali Patna Nalanda Buxar Bhojpur
Janata Dal (United) 23 4 5 5 6 2 1
Bharatiya Janata Party 20 4 3 6 1 2 4
Rashtriya Janata Dal 7 2 0 3 0 0 2

Age groups of candidates in the third phase

  • Number of candidates between 25-50 age group – 576 (72%)
    • 25-30 year age group – 75
    • 31-40 year age group – 249
    • 41-50 year age group – 255
  • Number of candidates between 51-80 age group — 226 (28%)
    • 51-60 year age group – 136
    • 61-70 year age group – 76
    • 71-80 year age group – 14
  • Number of candidates above 80 years – 1
  • Number of candidates who have not declared their age details: 2

Educational Qualification of Candidates in the Third Phase

  • Graduate and above – 384 (48%)
    • Doctorate – 30
    • Post Graduates – 97
    • Graduates with professional degrees – 67
    • Graduates – 190
  • Between 5th pass and 12th pass – 361 (45%)
    • 12th Pass – 159
    • 10th Pass – 127
    • 8th Pass – 52
    • 5th Pass – 23
    • Simple Literates – 54

Candidates with criminal records in the third phase – 215 (27%)
Constituencies with highest number of candidates with criminal records – Mokama and Digha with 9 candidates each with criminal records
Number of constituencies with three or more candidates with criminal records in the third phase – 41
Candidates facing serious criminal cases related to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crimes against women, causing communal disharmony, etc. – 162(20%)
Number of candidates facing murder charges – 31
Party-wise number of candidates with murder charges
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – 5, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation – 3, Janata Dal (United) – 2, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) – 2, Communist Party of India – 2, Samajwadi Party – 1, Garib Janata (Secular) – 1, Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik) – 1 , Communist Party of India (Marxist) – 1, Shiv Sena – 1, Samras Samaj Party – 1, Bahujan Samaj Party – 1, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party – 1, Independents – 9


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