Explained: The Likely Outcomes Of Mokama And Gopalganj Assembly By-Polls In Bihar

by Nishtha Anushree - Oct 7, 2022 02:43 PM +05:30 IST
Explained: The Likely Outcomes Of Mokama And Gopalganj Assembly By-Polls In BiharBihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Snapshot
  • BJP is most likely to win in Gopalganj, and RJD in Mokama.

The nomination filing for by-elections in the assembly constituencies of Maharashtra, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha began on Friday (7 October).

Two seats of Bihar — Mokama and Gopalganj — will go to by-polls, and 14 October is the last date for filing nominations. Voting will be held on 3 November. Counting will take place on 6 November.

Mokama

Mokama seat fell vacant after sitting Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MLA Anant Singh was convicted in a case related to arms recovery from his residence and was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.

Singh won Mokama assembly seat four times consecutively since 2005 but was disqualified from the assembly following his conviction. He earlier used to contest on Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) ticket but left the party following a fallout with Nitish Kumar.

In 2015, he contested as an independent. He later joined RJD and fought the 2020 assembly elections on the party ticket.

Anant Singh is considered to be an influential leader in the area. Hence, it is most likely that RJD will choose his wife Neelam Singh as a candidate to take advantage of his popularity.

While her name has not been officially announced, her meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav earlier this week has fuelled speculations about her nomination as a Mahagathbandhan candidate.

On the other hand, the BJP appears to be very weak in this seat as it has not contested here for two decades. It has given the opportunity to its alliance partners, whether JD(U) or Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), to contest elections from here.

But now, BJP stands alone in Bihar and is planning to nominate a local Yadav leader for the contest. However, with all the parties on Mahagathbandhan's side, it is most likely that the RJD candidate will consolidate the votes.

Gopalganj

Gopalganj seat got vacant following the death of BJP MLA and former minister Subhash Singh in August this year. Similar to Anant Singh, he too has been a four-time consecutive MLA from his seat since 2005.

However, the difference is that he has been with the BJP continuously and did not switch parties. Another similarity between the two seats is that BJP is most likely to nominate Subhash Singh's wife Kusum Devi.

Kusum Devi was on an 'Aashirwad Yatra' two days after Singh's shraddh (completion of the final rites) seeking support for herself. In such a scenario, the sympathy factor will also play a role in her favour.

It is also believed that caste will be an important factor in this seat and Singh was a prominent Rajput face, giving another upper hand to the BJP. Also, BJP has been unaffected by its alliance or separation from the JD(U) on this seat.

On the other hand, Mahagathbandhan's candidate for this seat is unknown yet. Both JD(U) and Congress are eyeing to nominate their candidate from here. However, JD(U) is most likely to get the opportunity given the limited influence of Congress.

Congress came third on this seat in the 2020 assembly elections. When Mahagathbandhan fought against BJP in the 2015 assembly elections, the RJD candidate lost by a mere 5,000 votes. However, the loss margin was much more when RJD contested alone in the 2010 elections.

While the RJD will transfer its vote to the Mahagathbandhan candidate, the truth is that for more than two decades, neither the JD(U) has contested from here, nor the Congress has secured more than 20 per cent votes. Hence, the BJP candidate is most likely to win from here.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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