Small no longer beautiful, but useful

Last Updated : 09 October 2010, 16:48 IST

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Though a predominantly triangular contest is on the cards, there are several small parties which will try to play the role of spoiler.

Take for instance the case of Bahujan Samaj Party. Mayawati’s writ may run in Uttar Pradesh, but in Bihar her party is of little consequence. When she experimented
her social engineering formula during last Assembly elections, she managed to win five out of 212 seats the BSP contested.

All the five MLAs deserted her on the eve of 2010 polls and joined different parties, including RJD and JD (U). Even in 2000 polls, when her men won from areas which share border with Uttar Pradesh, Lalu engineered a ‘wholesale defection’ and merged Mayawati’s outfit with the RJD.

Notwithstanding the past experiences, Mayawati has announced BSP candidates for all 243 seats. The Congress is the only other party contesting all the seats.

SP going alone
But her arch-rival Mulayam Singh Yadav is smart enough not to bet so much in a State where he has no standing. Even then, his nominees will be in the fray in around 150 seats. Surprisingly, Mulayam, who struck a grand alliance with Lalu and Paswan on the eve of Lok Sabha polls in 2009, will be contesting independently.

He has, however, said that he won’t canvass for any of his nominees due to his poor health. “Campaigning will be done by his son Akhilesh and senior leader Azam Khan,” said SP’s Bihar unit president and former minister Tulsi Singh.

NCP’s headhunt on
Sharad Pawar’s NCP, which has just one MLA in the outgoing Assembly, will also be contesting from around 100 seats, though the party is ‘still looking for suitable

Most of the seats NCP will contest are in Seemanchal region in eastern Bihar, where the party’s general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Tariq Anwar has clout ever since he became the national president of Youth Congress.

Mamata and Shibu too
Besides these parties, Mamata Banerjee too wants to test the political waters from a few constituencies bordering North Bengal. The Trinamool Congress has set its eyes on Kishanganj, Katihar and Araria districts, which are close to New Jalpaiguri in Bengal.

Likewise, Shibu Soren’s Jharkhand Mukti Morcha  too wants to enter the fray from six seats in Purnia, Banka and Bhagalpur. All these districts have a sizeable tribal population and border  Jharkhand.

As of now, these smaller players may appear to be of no consequence, but in case of a hung Assembly, these candidates will be the spur to horsetrading.

Party                   No of seats     Seats
                             contested       won

JD (U)                           139           88
BJP                                102          55
RJD                                175          54
LJP                                203          10
Cong                              51             9
BSP                               212            4
NCP                                  8             1
CPI                                 35             3
CPM                                10             1
CPI-ML                            85            5
SP                                 158            2
AJVD                                1             1
Ind                               746           10

Total                                            243

Published 09 October 2010, 16:35 IST

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