BY MANOJ PATHAK
With the counting of votes underway on Tuesday for the 243 Assembly seats in Bihar, and the trends available, it is clear that the people of Bihar have not been impressed by the smaller parties.
Many smaller parties had formed alliances with the larger ones and tried to project themselves as an alternate political narrative to influence the voters, but the people failed to show any interest in them as evident from the trends.
The initial trends as per current reports indicate that the smaller parties will not be able to manage more than 12 to 15 seats even though some of them have been in the Bihar politics for quite a long time. Smaller parties may have a significant role in elections in other states, but the people in Bihar appear to have rejected them. This is getting clear from the current available trends, but the results will become clearer by late Tuesday evening.
In this election, a London-based Pushpal Priya Chaudhary’s newly floated ‘Plurals Party’ came into the fray in Bihar on the promise of bringing a change in the state. She had declared herself as a contender for the Chief Minister’s post and contested from two Assembly seats — Bankipur seat of Patna district and the Bisfi seat in Madhubani district. As per the initial trends, she had barely managed a few votes and seemed to be lagging behind by a big margin in both the seats.
The Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) led by former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha, who quit the NDA earlier this year and became a part of a third front after failing to strike a deal with the Grand Alliance. The RLSP fielded their candidates for 130 seats, but appear to be lagging behind according to the initial trends. However, two-three candidates of the RLSP’s ally Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) are still in a neck-to-neck contest.
Former MP Pappu Yadav, who formed the Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) also contested this election after forming alliances with several other smaller parties, including Azaad Samaj Party, Bahujan Mukti Party, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) but the voters failed to get their confidence. Pappu Yadav himself is trailing behind in the Madhepura seat. Yadav was projected as the chief ministerial candidate by his fellow coalition partners.
The ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) Party of Jharkhand is also in the fray, but they are trailing behind according to the current poll result trends.