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Bhagalpur voters upset with ‘missing’ JDU MP, but will vote for for him to support Modi

With 23.30 lakh voters, Bhagalpur is one of the biggest and most important parliamentary constituencies of Bihar, which sends 40 MPs to Lok Sabha

PTI Bhagalpur Published 25.04.24, 06:29 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

Many voters in Bihar’s Bhagalpur Lok Sabha constituency say sitting JDU MP Ajay Mandal was “missing” for the past five years but they would vote for him again this year as it would bolster the chances of Prime Minister Narendra Modi returning to power.

Some, however, are not in the mood to give the MP a long rope and are looking for change.


With 23.30 lakh voters, Bhagalpur is one of the biggest and most important parliamentary constituencies of Bihar, which sends 40 MPs to the Lok Sabha.

Before the 1989 Bhagalpur riots, in which over 1,000 people lost their lives, the constituency was a Congress bastion. Since the riots, the seat has been won by the RJD, JDU or the BJP.

Bhagalpur, famous for its silk fabric and aromatic variety of rice called Katarni, will go to polls in the second round of the seven-phase general elections on April 26.

Shankar, a barber, claimed Mandal will win because the JDU is a BJP ally.

“Even though the JDU MP did nothing for the city and the constituency in the last five years, he will win because he is backed by Modi ji. He has been missing for the past five years,” Shankar said.

P N Pandey, a farmer, said he will vote for Mandal out of “compulsion” because of Modi.

Amit Kaushik, a young entrepreneur, also faces the same dilemma. He said he wants change in his constituency but also wants Modi to return as prime minister.

On the other hand, Shamsher Ansari, a silk weaver, has made up his mind.

“Mandal did not undertake any development work in the past five years. The silk industry, once the pride of the city, is now under stress. So, let us give a chance to the Congress candidate who seems more promising,” he said.

Mandal won the Bhagalpur seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, defeating the RJD’s Shailesh Kumar Alias Vulo Mandal by a margin of 2,77,630.

This year, Mandal will take on Congress’ Ajit Sharma, a three-time MLA and father of Bollywood actors Neha and Aisha Sharma.

Mandal told PTI that he has requested Prime Minister Modi to address voters in his constituency like he did in the last elections.

The Congress is contesting the Bhagalpur seat after a gap of several years but Sharma is confident of winning.

Voters have decided they want change, he said.

Mandal did not carry out any development work in Bhagalpur and his participation in Parliament was also minimal, Sharma told PTI.

“People are clamouring for development and support for the silk industry, which is under stress. This time, development is an issue and the INDIA bloc is committed to it,” he said.

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