Seemanchal and Kosi regions in Bihar is expected to give a fair opportunity to all political parties when it comes to making a mark in the ongoing Assembly elections.
Taking a note of this, key contenders — Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress, Janata Dal-United, Bharatiya Janata Party and Lok Janshakti Party are looking at consolidating their position for the final tally.
Other parties like Jan Adhikar Party (JAP), Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are also focusing on opening accounts that could aid them bargain at the time of government formation.
Purnea, Araria, Kishanganj, Katihar, Supaul are considered Muslim dominant, apart from the presence of Yadav, OBC and upper caste communities. Such an equation becomes favourable even for the smaller parties.
Besides, these areas are also flood-affected, hence their youth migrate in large numbers.
All these factors encourage leaders like Asaduddin Owaisi, Upendra Kushwaha, Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, Sudip Pandey to campaign aggressively in these areas and raise local issues to gain votes in favour of candidates for their respective parties.
AIMIM managed to open its account from Kishanganj district in 2015. RLSP bagged 2 seats in 2015.
In 2020, AIMIM is contesting on 20 seats and the majority of them are in Kishanganj, Katihar, Purnea and Araria districts. The RLSP is also contesting on 104 seats, NCP is contesting on 145 seats and majority of their candidates are contesting from Seemanchal districts.
The presence of AIMIM and its ‘challenge’ in Seemanchal could be noticed following the remark of Congress leader Abdul Jaleel of Aamaur constituency. He said that “he will beat Owaisi and send him to Hyderabad”.
Responding to it, Owaisi said: “I am used to hearing such things from both BJP and Congress. Take my life but I won’t leave Seemanchal. We live in the heart of Seemanchal now.”
Sudip Pandey, NCP’s star campaigner and party’s general secretary of Mumbai, said: “We have good hold in Seemanchal and Kosi areas. Had it not been the case, former NCP leader Tariq Anwar would not be so successful. The workers at ground level are intact with NCP and they will give a good show for the party in this region.
“I felt disheartened when migration took place in large numbers. The party has given me responsibility to address the issues especially in Seemanchal region. I want to assured them that NCP is a balanced party under the leadership of Sharad Pawar.
“It has appeared at various occasions including in Sushant Singh Rajput death case when a section of influential persons, political parties and media tried to create difference between Biharis and Marathis but the NCP has not made any provocative statement.”
Upendra Kushwaha, the president of RLSP, said: “People of Bihar have given 15 years to elder brother (Lalu Prasad) and another 15 years to younger brother (Nitish Kumar) and both of them have taken Bihar to its lowest level. During RJD regime, education, health, road infrastructure, power, water supply, agriculture, industries have completely deteriorated. Only one industry is flourishing — the kidnapping industry.”