The Bihar Post

Shatru ahead in race as Shah sweats it out for Ravi Shankar in Patna Sahib

The battle for Patna Sahib becomes a matter of prestige for BJP


PATNA: BJP chief Amit Shah held a road-show in Patna, the capital of Bihar, on Saturday as the battle turns decisive and touches its peak.

The road show by Shah becomes significant given the fact that union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is locked in a tough fight with party rebel and Congress candidate Shatrughan Sinha for the Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat which goes to poll in the final round on May 19.

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Given the situation, the battle for Patna Sahib has become an issue of prestige for the BJP as a defeat in the election will leave the saffron camp with eggs on the face its face. The seat is currently represented by Shatrughan Sinha.

The road-show which began from Kadamkuan locality this evening finally terminated at Gandhi Maidan after covering nearly a distance of 2 kilometer.

Although the purpose of the show was to recharge the party voters and pump up energy within them ahead of the final round of polling to be held on May 19, brewing discontent within the party was clearly visible.

No doubt a host of leaders such as BJP candidate Prasad himself, Sushil Kumar Modi, Giriraj Singh and Nand Kishore accompanied Shah on his road show, a noticeable face which remained missing from the scene was Rajya Sabha Member and party’s prominent Kashthya face RK Sinha.

“I stayed away from the road show as I was not given invitation,” Sinha told the media on Saturday, denying he was annoyed with the party. He said he had been campaigning in the constituency where he was deployed.

Yet, Sinha absence from the scene itself tells the whole story of bitter power struggle in the BJP. As such, both Ravi Shankar Prasad and RK Sinha were in the race for the Lok Sabha ticket for Patna Sahib seat but finally the seat went to the Union minister which annoyed the Sinha camp.

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Angry supporters of Sinha then strongly protested, shouted slogans and showed black flags to Prasad when he reached Patna soon after getting then party ticket. This led to pitched battle at the Patna airport in which several of Sinha supporters were badly assaulted by the rival camp.

Since then RK Sinha, a billionaire politician who is the founder of Security and Intelligence Services (SIS), has gone missing from Patna. In April end, RSS general secretary Bhaiyaji Joshi called unhappy Sinha to the RSS office in Patna and held a meeting with him in what was described as a damage-control move but this has failed to work.

As such, the BJP wanted Sinha to work enthusiastically for the party given the fact that he enjoys huge popularity among his fellow Kayastha caste men which have significant presence in Patna Sahib but Sinha has been maintaining low profile since then.

Even the All India Kayastha Mahasabha wanted the BJP to given ticket to Sinha, rather than Ravi Shankar Prasad but the party went with the latter. This has also annoyed the Kayastha voters who appear divided over supporting the BJP candidate.

The division among Kayastha voters has obviously made the battle tough for Ravi Shankar Prasad whose lone hope is party cadre votes, JD-U’s supporters and BJP leaders’ charisma.

On the other hand, Congress candidate Shatrughan Sinha now banks on the support of Yadavs, Muslims, Kushwahas, Dalits and also his own fellow community voters.

Not only that Shatru, more popular as Bihari Babu, has his own fan following for being a prominent Bollywood actor who has worked in over 150 films.

The battle for Patna Sahib, this, has become very interesting but Shatru obviously has an edge, says political pundits.

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