Despite the claims of the political parties that development will be the core issue in the Assembly election this year in Bihar, caste politics continues to play the crucial role. The parties are selecting candidates on the basis of caste dominance in a particular area and the same reflects in the candidate list of the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP).
The party issued a list of 37 candidates for the first and the second phase on Friday night, and 18 of them represent the Koiri caste and two are from the Kurmi caste.
Both castes are considered as the traditional vote bank of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
However, Upendra Kushwaha, the chief of the RLSP has always been considered as a challenger to Nitish Kumar due to his capability to intrude into the Koiri-Kurmi (KK) formula of Kumar. The ‘KK’ formula is similar to the Muslim-Yadav (MY) equation of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
This makes Kushwaha a prominent leader in Bihar and he even managed to take a seat in the Union cabinet of Narendra Modi government’s first tenure.
Besides Koiri and Kurmi, the RLSP has given tickets to four Muslims, three Yadavs, three Rajputs, one to a Bhumihar candidate, three to the Paswan community, two to Dalits and one to a Kayastha leader.
The RLSP is contesting on 104 seats in Bihar under the umbrella of the Grand Democratic Secular Front (GDSF). It’s another alliance partner Bahujan Samaj Party is contesting on 80 seats, AIMIM on 24, Samajwadi Janata Dal on 25, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party on five and Janwadi Party Socialist on five seats.
BSP chief Mayawati is expected to address two rallies in Bihar from October 23 onwards.
The Bihar Assembly election is going to be held in three phases starting from October 28. Second phase polling is on November 3 and third on November 7. The results will be announced on November 10.