Constituency Watch: BJP’s Ram Kripal Yadav to lock horns with Misa Bharti of RJD in battle for Pataliputra

Patna: RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s family is unable to dissociate itself from Bihar’s Pataliputra Lok Sabha seat despite facing defeats in three successive parliamentary elections.

Sitting BJP MP Ram Kripal Yadav will contest against Lalu Prasad’s eldest daughter Misa Bharti from the Pataliputra Lok Sabha seat, carved out from the erstwhile Patna constituency after the delimitation in 2008.

Lalu Prasad lost the Lok Sabha election from Pataliputra in 2009, while Misa Bharti was defeated in the 2014 and 2019 elections by BJP’s Ram Kripal Yadav.

In 2009, the RJD chief was defeated by Ranjan Prasad Yadav of JD-U with a margin of 23,541 votes. Lalu Prasad secured over 2.45 lakh votes while Ranjan Prasad Yadav got more than 2.69 lakh votes.

Ram Kripal Yadav, a native of Patna, was considered a close aide of Lalu Prasad in the past.

He joined the BJP in 2014 after the RJD refused to field him from the Pataliputra seat.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Ram Kripal Yadav defeated Misa Bharti with a margin of 40,322 votes, while, in the 2019 parliamentary poll, he and Lalu Prasad’s daughter with the margins of 39,321 votes.

“Ram Kripal Yadav is a seasoned politician. He works round the clock. He does not ignore even a phone call from any person from his constituency… Due to his people’s friendly image, voters of all sections have a great respect for him. Even RJD workers admire his works on the ground,” BJP OBC wing National General Secretary Nikhil Anand told IANS.

“On the other hand, Misa Bharti never visits the constituency. After her defeat in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, she visited Pataliputra in 2019 and lost again. Now, she is visiting the constituency again after a gap of five years for the election,” he added.

Anand further claimed that Ram Kripal Yadav is very popular among poor families in Pataliputra.

Although the BJP candidate has won two successive elections, the 2020 Assembly elections’ data favours the Mahagathbandhan.

The Pataliputra Lok Sabha seat comprises six assembly segments — Danapur, Maner, Phulwari, Masaurhi, Paliganj, and Bikram — and all were won by the in 2020.

Bhai Virendra, the RJD MLA from Maner, said: “The people of all the six assembly constituencies which come under Pataliputra have voted for us and the same thing will be repeated in the 2024 Lok Sabha election. Misa Bharti will win the Lok Sabha election this time.”

The Pataliputra Lok Sabha constituency has more than 20 lakh eligible voters. The voters belonging to Yadav, Bhumihar, Rajput, Kurmi, Dalit and Muslim communities have a sizable population there.

The Danapur assembly constituency is dominated by Yadavs, while Rajputs, Bhumihars and Kurmis also have a sizable vote bank there. In the 2020 assembly election, RJD’s Ritlal Yadav won the election from Danapur. He was also in the race for Pataliputra Lok Sabha seat.

In Phulwari, Dalit and Muslim voters are in dominant positions and CPI-ML candidate Gopal Ravidas had won the 2020 Assembly election from the seat.

In Paliganj, Yadavs, Bhumihars and Muslims have a sizable population. Sandeep Saurav of CPI-ML is a sitting MLA from the seat.

In Masaurhi, Yadav and Dalit voters play a key role. The seat was secured by Rekha Devi of RJD in 2020.

The Bikram seat was although won by Congress’ Sidhartha Saurav, the MLA later turned rebel and joined the BJP. Bhumihars and Rajputs have a significant population in Bikram.

In Maner, Bhai Virendra of RJD secured his fourth consecutive term in the 2020 Assembly election.

The Pataliputra parliamentary seat registered a 41 per cent voter turnout in the 2009 Lok Sabha election. While in 2014 and 2019, the constituency registered over 56 per cent voter turnout.

Voting in Pataliputra is scheduled to be held on June 1.


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