BJP MLAs beat giants with development wand - Many political veterans bite dust as saffron party gives its best-ever performance

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By SANJEEV KUMAR VERMA
  • Published 26.11.10
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Patna, Nov. 25: The BJP’s success in the Assembly polls can be gauged from the fact that even its low-profile candidates managed to defeat veteran leaders in Bihar politics.

Take the example of Vinay Kumar Singh who has been given the tag of “giant killer” as he defeated former chief minister Rabri Devi by over 20,000 votes from Sonepur.

A law graduate, this 48-year-old MLA is not new to politics. He has represented the same seat from 2000 to 2005.

Singh was not much confident about his victory when he first came to know that the RJD has fielded Rabri Devi from the seat. “Having no choice, I started my people’s contact programme. Once out in the field I got a lot of confidence as a close interaction with people made me realise that they were not willing to see the RJD back in power,” Singh said.

He attributed his victory to the good work done by the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in the past years.

He claimed that a good number of Muslim voters too voted for the BJP this time.

First-time MLA Ram Naresh Prasad Yadav also carries the tag of “giant killer”. He defeated RJD veteran and former minister Ram Chandra Purbey from Parihar constituency. This new constituency was earlier known as Sonbarsa and Purbey had won the seat consecutively in the past four elections.

Located near the India-Nepal border, the constituency faces flood almost every year which damages the roads. “Water management is the biggest issue for me as without addressing this problem the area cannot be developed,” said this 50-year-old MLA, who is a graduate in mathematics.

Having won the seat by over 4,000 votes, Yadav claim-ed that he would have won by a bigger margin had the rebel candidates not been in fray.

Saba Zafar is the only Muslim MLA in the BJP. Having won the Amour seat, this 36-year-old Patna University graduate has no qualms in accepting the fact that development issue played a second fiddle in deciding his poll fate.

“My victory is more a result of the support of Hindu voters,” said Zafar, who is a Kulahia Muslim. Explaining further, he said: “In Amour, the votes of Surjapuri and Kulahia Muslims never go to one candidate. As I got the support of Hindu voters also, for being a BJP candidate, I was confident about my victory.”

Saba trounced Congress veteran Abdul Jalil Mastan by over 18,000 votes.

First-time MLA Usha Vidyarthi has become the face of women power in BJP. “Women MLAs having proved their administrative skills must get their due share in the ministry,” said Vidyarthi, who also happens to be a college principal. Wife of an engineer and mother of two children, Vidyarthi is not new to politics and has tested defeat thrice in the elections before finally making to the Assembly from Paliganj constituency.

She too attributed her victory to the good work done by the NDA government in the past five years.