The Samastipur Lok Sabha constituency is among 40 seats in Bihar, is a reserved constituency for Schedule Caste (SC). The home district of late socialist icon and former Chief Minister of Bihar Karpoori Thakur, had stint of socialist politics for long.
It is one among five seats which is going to poll in 4th phase of election on 29th April. Samastipur, 110km northeast to Patna has a popular episode among masses when BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani was arrested over Ram Rath Yatra on orders of by the then Chief Minister of Bihar Lalu Prasad Yadav.
The district, which has the city of Samastipur as its administrative headquarters, is bound by the Bagmati River on the North, on the South by the Ganga River, on the East by Begusarai and Khagaria District and on the West by Vaishali and Muzzaffarpur district.
This parliamentary constituency became a part of the Samastipur District in 1972, when it split from the Darbhanga district and became a separate region.
The seat is represented in Lok Sabha by LJP’s Ram Chandra Paswan, who is the brother of party chief and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan. In 2014 election, Ram Chandra Paswan defeated Dr. Ashok Kumar of the Congress by margin of 57,000 votes amid Modi wave.
Poll arithmetic of Mahagathbandhan & NDA– Samastipur is dominated by the Extremely Backward Castes (EBCs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) who have emerged to play a decisive role in the social and political sphere of the state. Muslims who constitute 10% of vote share are expected to play a crucial role too.
Last time LJP benefited from the Upper caste-partly young OBC-EBC combination but this time the task remains tough as the Mahagathbandhan’s social engineering comprised of OBC-EBC-Muslims may certainly favour Congress’s Dr. Ashok Kumar who remains a popular face among masses.
Issues that matter for Samastipur- Samastipur is far from magic wand of development since an overall crisis prevails as local people in Banda village recall. Being furious on question of development they pointed towards water crisis, unemployment is a roaring crisis.
The ruins of a jute factory (Rameshwar Jute Mill), Sugar Mill and Thakur Paper Mill bore testimony to the golden period. Hundreds of workers once used to work day and night at these industrial units.
Absence of sitting MP Ram Chandra Paswan has miffed the voters. Many have not seen in last five and nor his work has spelled out his performance. Mohammad Mahtab Alam (30) a youth said- I have not seen the sitting MP Ram Chandra Paswan Ji who also contesting election this time. Along with me many have the same standpoint. Prime Minister Modi’s schemes have not benefited us such my Jan Dhan Yojna bank account still awaits arrival of 15 lakh which was promised by the Prime Minister.
He further adds Samastipur lags in infrastructure of hospitals, colleges, school, etc. and absence of job and unavailability of water is the current situation.
Candidate fielded by the Congress, Dr. Ashok Kumar has put up a road map for people of Samastipur which includes revival of Sugar mill and Jute mill. This has certainly cleared the smoke over agenda with which the grand alliance has stepped in battle.
Now only the verdict after election shall decide fate of development in Samastipur.