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Lok Sabha Election 2024 | Women candidates in Bihar vying to carve their niche

Like Rohini, Lalu’s eldest daughter Misa Bharti too is toiling hard in the dusty by-lanes of rural Patna, which is part of the Patliputra LS constituency.
Last Updated : 21 April 2024, 02:34 IST
Last Updated : 21 April 2024, 02:34 IST

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Patna: Rohini Acharya, the younger daughter of Lalu Prasad, who stays in Singapore but has flown down to Bihar to contest the Lok Sabha election from Saran, is enjoying every bit of the heat and dust of Bihar politics.

Rohini, who hogged the limelight after donating one of her kidneys to her ailing father, is making her poll debut in the constituency from where Lalu made his parliamentary debut in 1977. Saran was then known as Chapra Lok Sabha constituency till delimitation in 2009 changed the nomenclature.

Pitted against former Union minister and BJP veteran Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Rohini has no qualms in admitting that she is the daughter of two former chief ministers of Bihar — Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi, besides being the sister of former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav. When challenged by the BJP that Lalu is merely promoting his family, she counters in Lalu’s imitable style: “Pehle hum se fariya lijye, baad mein Lalu ji se. (First face me, only then argue with Lalu ji).”

Like Rohini, Lalu’s eldest daughter Misa Bharti too is toiling hard in the dusty by-lanes of rural Patna, which is part of the Patliputra LS constituency. An MBBS, Misa is contesting from Patliputra for the third consecutive time, despite losing twice (2014 and 2019) to senior BJP MP and former Union minister Ram Kripal Yadav. Ram Kripal was one of the trusted aides of Lalu before switching sides in 2014.

Currently, Misa is a Rajya Sabha member, but is drawing flak for two reasons: First, she is reportedly not accessible to her electorate. Secondly, this is her second term in the Rajya Sabha and still she is contesting for the third consecutive time from the same Lok Sabha constituency from where she was defeated twice.

Not all are dynasts

But all women candidates are not dynasts. Take, for example, the case of Ritu Jaiswal. A grassroots worker of the RJD, she first became a mukhiya before being appointed spokesperson of the Rashtriya Janata Dal. Married to a 1995-batch bureaucrat Arun Kumar, Ritu is making her parliamentary poll debut from Sheohar against veteran JD (U) leader and former MP Lovely Anand.

Lovely is the wife of former MP Anand Mohan, who was jailed in the murder case of Gopalganj DM G Krishnaiah but was set free recently by the Nitish regime. Lovely too was an accused in this case but was later let off by the court.

Ritu Jaiswal
Ritu Jaiswal
Misa Bharti
Misa Bharti
Heena Shahab
Heena Shahab

But then, it’s not Lovely alone who will be seeking votes in the name of her husband. Heena Shahab, wife of former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin, who was a terror in Siwan till alive, will be contesting from her late husband’s constituency as an Independent. The RJD wanted Heena to contest as the RJD nominee, but she declined the offer having lost twice earlier on the RJD symbol.

Adding to such a list is Bima Bharti, the RJD candidate from Purnea. Bharti was a JD (U) MLA from Rupauli before quitting as a legislator and joining the RJD last month. She has remained in the news mostly for the wrong reasons as her husband Awadhesh Mandal, a convict, is facing several cases of kidnapping and murder.

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Published 21 April 2024, 02:34 IST

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