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Nitish leaves Lalu, Paswan far behind, Cong slips further

Nitish leaves Lalu, Paswan far behind, Cong slips further

Author: TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: May 17, 2009
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Bihar-Nitish-leaves-Lalu-Paswan-far-behind-Cong-slips-further/articleshow/4541297.cms

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar's sushasan or good governance has been given the thumbs up by the state's electorate with the JD(U)-BJP almost sweeping the Lok Sabha elections in the state.

In the process, the Opposition RJD-LJP alliance has been decimated with Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP scoring a zero and Lalu Prasad's RJD bagging just four seats. Not only did the NDA win 32 of the state's 40 Lok Sabha seats, it also inflicted ignominious defeats on Lalu and Paswan, both bested by JD(U) candidates Ranjan Prasad Yadav and former CM Ram Sunder Das in Pataliputra and Hajipur respectively.

The poll results blasted many myths, including Paswan's repeated boast of being the kingmaker. Not only Paswan himself, his brother Ram Chandra Paswan lost from Samastipur while the party's star candidate filmmaker Prakash Jha was mauled in Paschim Champaran.

The RJD-LJP's claim to have stitched a winning caste combination proved hollow with RJD's Union ministers Kanti Singh, M A A Fatimi, Mohd Taslimmudin, Jai Prakash Yadav, Raghunath Jha and Akhilesh Prasad Singh biting the dust in Karakat, Darbhanga, Kishanganj, Banka, Valmikinagar and Purvi Champaran. Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh won from Vaishali, but that too is being credited to his personal image and not the party's support base.

The only solace for Lalu, once invincible in Bihar, was his own win from Saran. However, RJD lost even in places where it was strong in the last assembly polls like Jhanjharpur, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Samastipur and Ujiarpur.

Congress, which contested the Bihar elections on its own for the first time in the last 15 years or so, bagged only two seats - Sasaram and the Muslim-dominated Kishanganj parliamentary seat. The most underlined aspect of the outcome is the rejection of criminals-turned-politicians and, in some cases, their kin.

They include convicted RJD MP Mohd Shahabuddin's wife Heena Shahab, convicted MP Pappu Yadav's spouse Ranjeeta Ranjan, Pappu's mother Shantipriya, JD(U)'s Prabhunath Singh and Munna Shukla, and LJP's Rama Singh and Zakir Khan who were defeated in Siwan.

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