It’s bahubali vs bahubali in Mokama bypoll | India News

The Mokama (Bihar) bypoll on Thursday has shaped up as a fight between competing bahubalis with the wives of two strongmen in the fray. To spice up the battle, a third strongman has thrown in his weight behind one of the two. The seat fell vacant following the disqualification of RJD MLA Anant Singh after his conviction in an Arms Act case. Anant’s wife Neelam Devi has entered the contest in his stead as the RJD candidate.
Pitted against Neelam Devi is BJP’s Sonam Devi, wife of another local strongman Lalan Singh, who also has the support of former Mokama MLA and yet another strongman Surajbhan Singh. RJD hopes to cash in on the sympathy factor for Neelam, but there are other factors like the relative influence of Anant, Surajbhan and Lalan Singh, not to say of the combined political weight of the seven-party grand alliance against the lone saffron party.
Test for mahagathbandhan
Three months after the formation of the grand alliance government by CM Nitish Kumar after dumping the BJP, the ruling alliance’s strength will be tested in the November 3 bypolls to Mokama as also Gopalganj assembly seats. Nitish had to stay away from the campaign due to an injury but urged voters in a video message to support Neelam Devi. Deputy CM and RJD heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav, however, led from the front and addressed several rallies.
The other bypolls
Gopalganj (Bihar): The by-election here was necessitated following the death of sitting BJP MLA Subhash Singh. BJP has been hoping on the sympathy factor for its nominee and Subhash’s widow Kusum Devi against RJD’s Mohan Prasad Gupta. Significantly, Tejashwi Yadav has reminded voters that Gopalganj is his home district. To queer the pitch for Tejashwi, Indira Devi, the wife of his bete noir and maternal uncle Sadhu Yadav, is in contest on a BSP ticket. Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) chief Chirag Paswan has campaigned for BJP candidates in Mokama and Gopalganj.
Andheri (East): The BJP has pulled out of the race after the Shiv Sena faction led by Uddhav Thackeray fielded the wife of its deceased MLA Ramesh Latke from the constituency. Rutuja Latke is expected to score an easy victory in the election which is the first after the recent split in the Shiv Sena following a rebellion by Eknath Shinde, who replaced Thackeray as Maharashtra chief minister.
Gola Gorakhnath (UP): The seat fell vacant after the death of BJP MLA Arvind Giri on September 6. With the BSP and the Congress keeping away from the bypolls, it is a direct fight between the BJP and the Samajwadi Party. The BJP has fielded Aman Giri, son of Arvind Giri, while the SP candidate is former Gola MLA Vinay Tiwari. While it is hoping to get sympathy votes, the BJP has not taken the contest lightly and deputed as many as 40 star campaigners including all major UP cabinet ministers and party office-bearers. On the last leg of electioneering on Monday, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath made promises on payment of cane dues and establishment of Chhoti Kashi corridor on the lines of Kashi Vishwanath and medical college.
Adampur (Haryana): Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has been actively campaigning in Adampur in Hisar district, where former chief minister Bhajan Lal’s grandson is among 22 candidates in the fray. The bypolls were necessitated after Kuldeep Bishnoi, the younger son of Bhajan Lal, resigned as MLA from the seat and switched from the Congress to the BJP in August. Bishnoi’s son Bhavya is contesting the bypolls as a BJP candidate. The BJP, Congress, Indian National Lok Dal and Aam Aadmi Party are among the key parties contesting the bypolls.
Dhamnagar (Odisha): The BJD has fielded Abanti Das, the lone woman among the total five candidates. BJP MLA Bishnu Charan Sethi’s death necessitated the bypoll. The saffron party, banking on sympathy votes, has fielded Sethi’s son Suryabanshi Suraj. Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik had on Monday addressed voters in Dhamnagar through the virtual mode and promised that five years of work will be completed in 18 months. The BJD’s official candidate is facing a rebel as its former MLA Rajendra Das is in the fray as an Independent.
(With inputs from Agencies)

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