Rebel ache for NDA, alliance in Bihar

Satish Chandra Dubey, the sitting BJP MP from Valmikinagar, is the latest to the ranks of rebels

  • Published 15.04.19, 7:29 AM
  • Updated 15.04.19, 7:29 AM
  • 2 mins read
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“I have made up my mind to contest the seat because the NDA has fielded a candidate who is not popular here,” Satish Chandra Dubey said. (Satish Chandra Dubey's Official Twitter handle: @satishdubeyy)

Rebels are turning out to be a headache for both the NDA and the Grand Alliance in Bihar during the Lok Sabha elections.

The latest to join the ranks of rebels is the sitting BJP MP from Valmikinagar, Satish Chandra Dubey, who is contesting the seat as an Independent against the NDA’s official candidate, the JDU’s Baidyanath Mahto.

“I have made up my mind to contest the seat because the NDA has fielded a candidate who is not popular here,” Dubey told The Telegraph on Sunday.

The other contenders for the seat are the Congress’s Shashwat Kedar and the BSP’s Dipak Yadav.

Shashwat, the grandson of former Bihar chief minister Kedar Pandey, is banking on his family’s contribution to the region. Dipak, the owner of Bagaha Sugar Factory, is hoping to get a major chunk of the 2 lakh-odd Yadav votes and a significant portion of the Scheduled Caste votes.

The Valmikinagar seat is located near the Bihar-Uttar Pradesh border, fuelling the BSP’s hopes. “It is true that the contest has become interesting, but the fate will be decided by the 2.5 lakh Tharus (a local tribe). They traditionally vote for the NDA, but the entry of the Congress candidate has made things interesting. Satish Dubey is likely to make a dent in the Brahmin votes, which would affect both the NDA and the Congress,” a local BJP leader said.

At Supaul, the local RJD leaders have supported Dinesh Yadav who is contesting as an Independent against the Congress sitting MP and Grand Alliance candidate Ranjeet Ranjan.

“We are supporting Dinesh because Ranjeet and her husband Pappu Yadav, who is contesting from Madhepura, have always worked to harm the RJD. We will teach both of them a lesson in this election,” the RJD’s Supaul unit president, MLA Yaduvansh Yadav, said.

There is discord in East Champaran too. Akash Singh, the son of Congress Rajya Sabha MP Akhilesh Singh, is contesting on an RLSP ticket as a Grand Alliance candidate against BJP veteran and Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh.

Akash, however, does not seem to be getting the backing of local RJD leaders, who wanted party leader Vinod Srivastava to be fielded from the seat.

“Our party workers are very angry and appear to be in no mood to support Akash. I had convened a meeting of local leaders yesterday in a bid to convince them, but they appeared adamant,” RJD East Champaran district unit president Suresh Yadav told this newspaper on Sunday.

He said the discontent might affect the prospects of the Grand Alliance candidates in the neighbouring West Champaran and Sheohar seats because several areas of East Champaran fall under these two Lok Sabha constituencies.

Senior RJD leader Mohammad Ashraf Ali Fatmi has announced that he will contest the Madhubani seat as an Independent against the Grand Alliance.

Putul Singh of the BJP, who has been expelled from the party, is contesting the Banka seat as an Independent against JDU candidate Girdhari Yadav.

Another BJP leader and member of the state Legislative Council, Sachchidanand Rai, has announced that he will contest Maharajganj against the BJP’s Janardan Singh Sigriwal.