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For Voters in Bihar's Madhepur, it is a Choice Between Three Yadavs

With a history of sending only a Yadav candidate to the Lok Sabha, it is going to be a triangular contest between RJD’s Sharad Yadav, JD(U)’s Dinesh Chandra Yadav and Jan Adhikar Party-Loktantrik (JAP-L)’s Pappu Yadav.

Pankaj Kumar | News18

Updated:April 21, 2019, 12:51 PM IST
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For Voters in Bihar's Madhepur, it is a Choice Between Three Yadavs
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Patna: A keen battle is awaited on Madhepura Lok Sabha seat of Bihar in the third phase of elections on April 23 as all the three candidates in fray this time belong to the Yadav caste.

With a history of sending only a Yadav candidate to the Lok Sabha, it is going to be a triangular contest between RJD’s Sharad Yadav, JD(U)’s Dinesh Chandra Yadav and Jan Adhikar Party-Loktantrik (JAP-L)’s Rajesh Ranjan. Strong-man-turned politician Ranjan, alias Pappu Yadav, is the sitting MP from Madhepur. Sharad, the senior-most among the three, is a four-time MP.

The three Yadavs were earlier members of the erstwhile Janata Party, making it a contest between friends-turned-foes.

Madhepur is also the hometown of BP Mandal, the chairman of the Second Backward Classes Commission. He won from this constituency thrice in a row, from 1967 to 1971. This constituency has been the hotbed of social unrest in post-Mandal era.

RJD's Dominance

Madhepura has remained a stronghold of the RJD, with Lalu Prasad Yadav winning in 1998 and 2004. Ramanedra Ravi and Sharad were elected twice from the RJD ticket in 1991 and 1996, respectively.

Since its formation in 1998, the JD(U) has won the Madhepur seat twice, while the RJD turned victorious four times. Dinesh, the NDA's pick, hailing from Saharsa, is considered the strong leader of the region. Saharsa was merged with Madhepura in 2008, which has altered the electoral demography of Madhepura. In fact, the overwhelming Yadav composition has been diluted.

It is the EBCs that constitute the major chunk of electorate, followed by Yadavs, SC/ST and Muslims. The EBC vote bank becomes crucial for the candidates in fray in Madhepur.

“The EBCs are not vocal but their vote will decide the winning candidate,” said Shailender Singh, a resident of Rahua Mani village Saharsa.

But Lalu Prasad Yadav’s connect with the people on ground makes him a favourite in the region.

“His contribution in the area is immense as he helped develop a university, a power grid, medical college. He also helped the setting up of rail coach factory here,” said Indradeep Yadav, a pan shop owner, adding that his vote will go the ‘lantern’.

The Yadav Bastion

Every elected representative from the Madhepur has been from the Yadav caste till date. Things remain same in 2019 also. With the three main contestants from Yadav community, the scenario seems to be in tandem with Madhepur’s popular saying, “Rome Pope Ka, Madhepura Gop Ka (Rome is the stronghold of pope & Madhepura is of Gopes, the Yadvas)”.

Core Issue-Development

With the voters faced with a choice between three Yadavs, the core issue determining the elections would be development. Though Madhepur has seen development, Saharsa has a different tale to narrate as it lacks basic amenities like drainage system and proper roads. The locals here say that the area has been facing step-motherly treatment, despite requesting the leaders.

However, the sitting MP of Madhepur denies the allegations and says the government has been just with both the towns. “This government doesn’t differentiate between the two towns. We are duty-bound to develop the region. I am hopeful that people in this election will vote for development,” says Pappu Yadav.

| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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