Candidate backed by Prashant Kishor wins legislative council poll in Bihar


PATNA: Political strategist turned activist Prashant Kishor made a splash on Thursday when a candidate backed by him wrested a legislative council seat from Bihar’s ruling Grand Alliance even as the BJP gloated over becoming the ”largest party” in the Upper House.

Afaq Ahmed, who was in the fray as an Independent, won from the Saran Teachers constituency, defeating CPI’s Anand Pushkar by a comfortable margin.

By-poll was necessitated in the constituency following the death of Pushkar’s father Kedar Nath Pandey, a veteran CPI leader who had represented the seat for a number of consecutive terms.

The ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (Grand Alliance) comprises altogether seven outfits and the Left parties, CPI(ML) Liberation, CPI and CPI(M) support the Nitish Kumar government from outside.

Kishor, who is currently touring Saran district as part of a state-wide ‘padayatra’ after which his ‘Jan Suraaj’ is expected to become a full-fledged political outfit, hailed the victory of 59 year-old Ahmed, calling him ”a farmers’ son who did not spend a single rupee” in the elections.

”The voters of the Saran Teachers constituency are drawn from districts like Saran, Siwan and Gopalganj, the RJD’s bastions, besides Champaran, a BJP stronghold. Both major political formations in the state have been made to bite the dust”, Kishor told a street-corner public meeting.

However, CPI’s state secretary Ram Naresh Pandey issued an angry statement accusing the IPAC founder of ”working for money, at the BJP’s behest” and having ”no ideology”.

Biennial elections were also held for four other seats of Graduates and Teachers constituencies of which Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) retained two but conceded one to BJP.

State BJP president Samrat Choudhary asserted that Awadhesh Narain Singh was all set to win Gaya Graduates, having maintained a lead in seven rounds of counting of votes.

Jivan Kumar wrested Gaya Teachers from sitting JD(U) MLC Sanjiv Shyam Singh and Choudhary claimed ”the BJP has now become the party with largest number of MLCs in Bihar”.

State BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand fished in troubled waters, alleging that the RJD had fielded its state president Jagadanand Singh’s son Punit Singh against Awadhesh Narain Singh to ”humiliate” its senior leader.

However, JD(U) MLCs Sanjiv Kumar Singh and Virendra Yadav retained Kosi Teachers and Saran graduates respectively, defeating nearest BJP rivals at both places.

In the 75-strong legislative council, the tally of the JD(U), until now the single largest party, has gone down to 23, one less than the number BJP will have after Awadhesh Narain Singh is formally declared the winner.

Source: Press Trust of India

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