It’s BJP vs estranged allies in Bihar and Maharashtra bypolls | India News

PATNA/MUMBAI: The byelections in Bihar, scheduled for November 3, are likely to generate maximum heat as BJP and the JD(U)-RJD-Congress coalition will be facing each other for the first time at the hustings after CM Nitish Kumar snapped ties with the saffron party and their government collapsed on August 9. Nitish is already drumming up support to unite the opposition and rouse voters to defeat BJP in the 2024 parliamentary elections.
Similarly, the bypoll to the Andheri (East) constituency in Mumbai will be the first direct contest for the Sena’s Thackeray faction with BJP and its ally, the breakaway Sena group led by CM Eknath Shinde who took over the reins this June.
Sources said Thackeray’s Sena may get to keep the “bow and arrow” party symbol.
The seat fell vacant following thedeath of Sena MLA Ramesh Latke this May. The Thackeray faction has announced Latke’s widow Rutuja as its candidate, while BJP Mumbai unit president Ashish Shelar had said Sunday that the party will likely field former corporator Murji Patel.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said his party will support Rutuja. Congress’s Mumbai unit president Bhai Jagtap said: “They (Thackeray’s Sena) have made a request not to put up a candidate. The party will decide in the next two days. ”
In Bihar, bypolls in Mokama was necessitated after RJD MLA Anant Kumar Singh was disqualified in July this year for his conviction this June in a case related to seizure of arms and ammunition, including an AK47 assault rifle, from his residence in 2019. Singh was sentenced to 10 years in jail. His wife Neelam Devi may be declared as RJD’s candidate.
The Gopalganj seat fell vacant following the death of BJP MLA Subhash Prasad Singh on August 16. The four-time MLA’s wife, Kusum Devi, will likely be BJP’s choice for the bypolls. Mokama has been Anant Singh’s stronghold and remains popular among the voters, but new caste equations may make Gopalganj tough for BJP. The party is confident that performance and not caste will be the decisive factor.
Another byelection to watch out for will be the one in Adampur assembly seat in Haryana’s Hisar district, where ex-CM Bhajan Lal’s son and MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi resigned and left Congress to join BJP recently. In the 2019 polls, Bishnoi defeated Sonali Phogat of BJP —the TikTok star who died in Goa this August.
Sources said BJP may field Bishnoi or his son Bhavya. AAP could field Satender Singh, who recently switched his loyalty from BJP. Congress’s pick could be either former minister Sampat Singh or boxer Vijender Singh.