Bihar

Bihar Assembly elections | Tej Pratap goes all out to woo Hasanpur

Tej Pratap Yadav. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

At Hasanpur Assembly constituency Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) candidate and elder son of party chief Lalu Prasad, Tej Pratap Yadav is going all out to woo the locals — playing cricket youngsters, driving a tractor, and sharing sattu (gram flour) and litti-chokha, a local snack, with young voters.

Mr. Yadav has moved out of his constituency Mahua in Vaishali district to Hasanpur in Samastipur and is pitted against two-time sitting NDA MLA Rajkumar Rai of the JD(U).

According to the political buzz, Mr. Tej Pratap, who is embroiled in marital dispute with Aishwarya Rai, granddaughter of former Bihar chief minister Daroga Prasad Rai and daughter of Chandrika Rai, chose to move out from Mahua amid rumours that Ms. Rai might be fielded against him.

The Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik) and Lok Janshakti Party have fielded Arjun Yadav and Manish Kumar respectively in the constituency, which is likely to divide the Yadav votes.

“RJD leader Tej Pratap Yadav might have chosen this constituency as a safe seat for it is being dominated by M-Y (Yadav and Muslim) voters which has been core vote bank of RJD since long,” political analyst Ajay Kumar told The Hindu.

Hasanpur has over 70,000 Yadavs, nearly 40,000 Muslim, 18,000 Paswan, 12,000 Kushwaha and over 10,000 upper caste votes.

Ahead of his younger brother and party’s CM face Tejashwi Yadav’s campaign in Hasanpur on Monday, Tej Pratap Yadav tweeted to local people saying his “Arjun” was coming to address them.

Hasanpur is known for its defunct sugar mill, the Magadh Sugar & Energy Limited, with Mr Tej Pratap’s campaign office located in the iconic Chini Mill (sugar mill) Chowk.

At the office late one evening last week, some young are having an animated discussion on the campaign while others are dozing on mattresses spread on the floor. Mr Tej Pratap who was campaigning in the Beethan area, was expected to return late at night.

“Everyday he sets off on his campaign trail by 8 in the morning and returns late … he is staying at nearby town of Rosera with relatively good hotels,” shares a young man, wearing a T-shirt with Tejashwi Yadav’s picture in front and a slogan “Bihar mange Badlaw (Bihar demands a change)” on the reverse.

At a tea shop outside the main RJD office, the discussion, as the sun sets on a cool evening, turns inevitably to the forthcoming election.

“Who is going to vote for a candidate like him (Tej Pratap Yadav)?... We’ll vote for Lalu Prasad, not him,” says Ramadhin Yadav, a voter in his sixties.

But why not?

“When he doesn’t meet us here, how can we meet him in Patna after his election,” ask the men.

“But, we’ll vote for him in the name of Lalu Prasad who has been imprisoned for a long time in a conspiracy hatched by Nitish Kumar and BJP,” they say in a chorus.

One of the group, Ramesh Kushwaha, however, says Mr. Nitish Kumar brought in development by constructing roads and bringing electricity everywhere. The JD(U) candidate Rajkumar Rai should be elected again, says Mr. Kushwaha.

“We should elect an MLA from local area and an MP from outside as we can meet the MLA to get our local work done and the MP for works outside the constituency and State,” he suggests.

“Tej Pratap is an outsider and the JD(U) candidate is local and also simple man,” he adds but is shouted down by others, most of them Yadavs.

“Voting for Rajkumar Rai is to bring Nitish Kumar again in power which we don’t want… We’ve nothing against the JD(U) candidate but we don’t want Nitish Kumar as CM again,” they say firmly.

Hasanpur votes in the second phase on November 3.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 3:15:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/bihar-assembly/bihar-assembly-elections-tej-pratap-goes-all-out-to-woo-hasanpur/article32945984.ece

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