Battleground Hasanpur: Lalu's elder son faces stiff challenge in new constituency

·4-min read

Dipak Ranjan Hasanpur (Bihar), Oct 31 (PTI) He relinquished Mahua and shifted to 'safe' seat of Hasanpur assembly segment, but the gamble seems tough for Lalu Prasad's elder son Tej Pratap Yadav who is pitted against a formidable JD(U) sitting legislator.

Hasanpur seat is located in the Samastipur district of Bihar but comes under the Khagaria Lok Sabha constituency.

Tej Pratap Yadav, who had plunged into electoral politics winning from Mahua assembly constituency in Vaishali district in 2015 elections, left it this time and chose to enter into fray from the Hasanpur seat.

Its said in the political circles that he had to move out of Mahua because of the possibility of his estranged wife challenging him there in the election.

Mahua is located near the Parsa assembly segment, a bastion of his wife Aishwarya Rai's father Chandrika Roy's family.

Tej Pratap and Aishwarya marriage got into trouble within six months of their tying the nuptial knot in May 2018. Their marital dispute case is pending with a Patna Family Court.

The fear was not untrue, as Aishwarya is seen going to the people of the Parsa constituency and raking up 'ill- treatment' meted out to her by Lalu Prasad's family and seeking justice for her.

But,the outing to Hasanpur appears to be no cakewalk for Prasad's maverick son.

Though its a yadavs dominated constituency, but Tej Pratap's principal rival Raj Kumar Rai of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's party JD(U) is also a fellow casteman and is holding the seat since 2010.

There are a total of eight candidates on the seat which will go to vote in the second phase on November 3.

The Janadhikar Party (JAP) of former Madhepura MP and an influencial yadav politician Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav has also fielded his candidate Arjun Yadav from the seat.

Realising that the journey is arduous,Tej Pratap is working hard and leaving nothing to chance.

He is camping in the constituency since filing of nomination on October 13.

The RJD leader is playing all the tricks up his sleeve to match the style of his charismatic politician father for a better connect with the voters.

He is seen playing cricket with the youngsters during campaigning, riding a tractor in a field, playing a flute and eating 'litti-Chokha' (famous Bihari food) with the people.

Though the yadav voters are the deciding factor on the seat, Muslims and other Backward castes like Kushwahas and Nishads (fishermen) electorate also have significant presence.

As per the voter list of 2019, there are 2,74,252 electorate in Hasanpur.

Yadavs constitute nearly 65,000 of the total voters, while Muslims electorate number 25,000. Forward castes count is around 20,000 while Paswans strength is around 18,000, Kushwahas (16,000) and Extremely Backward Castes (13,000).

The Yadavs and Muslims had voted for Raj Kumar Rai in both 2010 and 2015 state polls, But, since this time son of a prominent face of the mandal politics (Lalu Prasad) is in fray, Rai's cannot count on their total support this time as 'MY' (Muslim-Yadav) have been the support base of the RJD since its inception nearly 23 years ago.

The assembly segment is part of Khagaria Parliamentary seat from where LJP's Choudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser is the second consecutive term MP.

Chirag Paswan has not fieldd any candidate on the seat which people in the political circles see as a help to Prasad's son in battleground Hasanpur.

The constituency is known because of the Hasanpur Sugar and Energy Mill Ltd and Tej Pratap has pitched his camp office near it.

A tea seller close to the mill Ramashray Yadav said 'we will vote in the name of Lalu Prasad.' He said Prasad has been sent to jail due to 'conspiracy' hatched by his rivals and hence he needs our support.

Laxmi Paswan nd Rambriksha Paswan of Rampur village said 'they will vote for Narendra Modi who has provided us gas cyclinders and free ration.' Asked that Modi's party is not contesting from here, they said JD(U) is his partner party.

A vegetable vendor Nursat near Hasanpur chowk said 'she will vote for Lalu Prasad because he always care for them.' But, Ramesh Kushwaha says 'Nitish Kumar has improved road, electricity and hospital so the JD(U) should win so that all these could continue.' Tej Pratap Yadav told the visiting PTI-Bhasha reporter 'no development work has been done in this constituency as is evident from the broken roads.I have come to develop it'.

'I did a lot of development work in Mahua and on peoples demand have come to Hasanpur to do so in the next five years,' he said.

But, Raj Kumar Rai dubs him a 'parachute candidate'.

'He (Tej Pratap) knows nothing about Hasanpur.He even does not know the roads in the area and has to move around with the help of locals. Those who don't know anything about the area what kind of developemt they can do here?' he wryly said. PTI DR SNS SNS