PATNA: The Gopalganj assembly seat in Bihar is set to witness a tough fight in the November 3 by-poll with the BJP going all-out to retain the constituency and the ruling Mahagathbandhan’s largest constituent RJD leaving no stone unturned to wrest it from the saffron camp.
BJP nominee Kusum Devi is up against RJD’s Mohan Gupta, whose nomination was supported by the seven-party grand alliance, formed after stripping the saffron camp of power in the state in August.
Alleging that the BJP is trying to cash in on ”sympathy of voters” by fielding Kusum Devi, the wife of Subhash Singh, whose death necessitated the by-election, the RJD leadership pointed out that the assembly constituency falls under its supremo Lalu Prasad’s home district, Gopalganj.
”Our candidate will win the seat with a huge margin. The BJP has been completely exposed, and the security money deposited by its nominee will be forfeited,” Bihar RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwary told PTI.
Countering the RJD leader, the saffron camp’s state unit spokesperson, Nikhil Anand, said Gopalganj is a ”BJP bastion” as the party has been winning the seat since 2005.
”Subhash Singh was a popular leader of the constituency. People of Gopalganj will give a befitting reply to the grand alliance and ensure victory of our candidate to pay a tribute to their departed leader,” he said.
Others in the race include Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Indira Yadav, wife of Anirudh Yadav alias Sadhu Yadav, who is brother in-law of Lalu Prasad, and AIMIM nominee Aslam Mukhiya.
Campaigning for Gupta in Muslim-dominated areas in Gopalganj on Friday, state minister Mohammad Israil Mansuri said, ”The RJD candidate will win by a comfortable margin. The BJP will face a humiliating defeat this time as the electorate from the minority community will vote for the RJD nominee. They also know that AIMIM is the ‘B’ team of the BJP.” Responding to the RJD’s claim, Anand said the Grand Alliance parties are ”spreading propaganda to confuse voters”.
In the last assembly elections, the then BJP candidate had won the seat by defeating Sadhu Yadav by 36,000 votes. Asif Gafoor of the Congress came third.
Notably, by-elections will also be held in Mokama on November 3.
Source: Press Trust of India