With a month to go for the Kudni (Muzaffarpur) Assembly Bypoll in Bihar, both the BJP and the ruling Grand Alliance have announced former MLAs as their candidates, meaning the fight may solely come down to social equations.
The Grand Alliance appears confident in its strong social combination, which the BJP has been trying hard to upset. The Kudni bypoll, necessitated following the conviction of RJD MLA Anil Sahani, is due on December 5.
While there was speculation of Sahani getting his wife to contest, RJD decided to offer the chance to ally JD(U), which gave the ticket to former MLA Manoj Kushwaha.
Kushwaha, who has won the seat twice for JD(U), is pitted against BJP’s Kedar Gupta.
Kudni has about 60,000 Muslim voters, closely followed by Bhumihar voters. The constituency also has a sizeable number of votes of the OBC Kushwaha, EBC Kurmi and Scheduled caste Paswan communities.
Now that the JD(U) is likely to club Muslim, Yadav and Kushwaha votes, Sahani and Bhumihar votes may get be divided. While senior BJP leader and former MLA Suresh Sharma can influence Bhumihar voters, Muzaffarpur MP Ajay Kumar Nishad can influence Sahani voters.
A factor that could come into play is whether EBC Mallah leader and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) chief Mukesh Sahani decides to field his candidate. The AIMIM, too, has declared a candidate — Gulam Murtaza Ansari, a Pasmanda ( OBC) Muslim. The AIMIM candidate in the recent Gopalganj bypoll had got over 12,000 votes, indirectly helping BJP win the seat.