BJP president Amit Shah is on a seven-day mission in Bihar to quell the dissension among leaders in different constituencies, but the party seems in trouble in Bhagalpur. The BJP is divided in two camps, one led by senior leaders Shahnawaz Hussain and Sushil Kumar Modi and the other by Ashwani Choubey, whose son Arijit Shaswat is locked in a triangular contest.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Mr. Choubey, a five-time MLA from Bhagalpur, was denied nomination and was fielded in the far-off Buxar. But he rode to victory on the Narendra Modi wave. Mr. Hussain, a party spokesman, who contested from the communally sensitive seat, lost. In 2009, Mr. Hussain was elected to the Lok Sabha from the seat. In 2004, senior leader Sushil Kumar Modi won it.
Bhagalpur has seven Assembly segments. In Bhagalpur, Pirpainti and Gopalpur, the rebel BJP candidates are queering the official candidates’ pitch. The BJP appears comfortable in Bihpur. The other seats have gone to the BJP’s allies.
In Bhagalpur, BJP town president Vijay Sah has entered the fray against Mr. Shaswat, a management graduate from Australia. Mr. Sah is campaigning hard. “Of the total 305 booths in the constituency, my workers are active in 196 booths,” he claims. Locals say Mr. Sah is getting covert support from the Hussain camp.
Meanwhile, Mr. Shah has sent Mr. Hussain to Bhagalpur to tackle the infighting. “We’ll mange to convince Mr. Vijay Sah to pull out and back the official candidate,” Mr. Hussain told journalists in Bhagalpur on Thursday.