Expressing surprise over the results of the recent State Legislative Council election to 24 seats, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday asserted it would have no bearing on the upcoming Assembly by-poll in Bochahan. Mr Kumar also hoped that the NDA’s candidate from Bochahan would win the April 12 poll.
“I, myself, am surprised over the defeat of NDA candidates on some seats. They seemed so confident of winning. But the Council election is not one in which candidates are chosen directly by the people. Limited people vote in these election,” Mr. Kumar told mediapersons on Saturday after garlanding the statue of Emperor Ashoka. at a function in Gyan Bhawan in Patna.
At the same venue ruling alliance partner BJP had organised a function on Friday to celebrate the 2327 th birth anniversary of the Mauryan king.
In the recent Legislative Council poll, the NDA won 13 seats (BJP-7, JD-U-5 and Union minister Pashupati Kumar Paras-led Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party-1) while, the Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal won 6, and Congress one. Four Independents were also among the winners.
“But, the Council results will have no bearing in Bochahan,” said Mr. Kumar who is scheduled to campaign for the NDA candidate Baby Kumari on April 10.
The Bochahan bypoll has become a prestige issue for the BJP after the exit of Vikashil Insaan Party chief Mukesh Sahani. In the 2020 Assembly poll, Bochahan was won by Musafir Paswan of VIP but his untimely death in 2021 has necessitated this by-poll.
Recently all three MLAs from the VIP had joined BJP and Mukesh Sahani had to step down from the cabinet as Animal Husbandry and Fisheries minister after his vitriolic attack against the BJP and its top leadership following the results of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in which Mr. Sahani had fielded candidates from his party against BJP nominees.
In Bochahan assembly by-poll, the VIP has fielded Geeta Devi, daughter of several time MLA from Bochahan Ramai Ram, while RJD has fielded Amar Paswan, son of Musafir Paswan. The NDA candidate Baby Kumari had won the seat in 2015 Assembly election but in 2020 the seat had gone to VIP under NDA coalition.
On Saturday RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav campaigned for Mr. Paswan in Bochahan and appealed to people to vote for him. “Our party candidate is going to win the poll with a big margin and NDA candidate will bite the dust despite their all out effort,” said Mr. Yadav.