Constituency Watch: Paswan Factor Gives NDA Edge In Hajipur Lok Sabha Seat


(MENAFN- IANS) Patna, April 4 (IANS) The Hajipur reserved Lok Sabha seat in Bihar first came to the limelight when Ram Vilas Paswan contested from it in the 1977 Lok Sabha election and won with the record margins of more than 4 lakh votes, getting his name registered in the Guinness World Records.

Ram Vilas Paswan won this seat in 1980, 1989, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2014, and his younger brother LJP's Pashupati Kumar Paras won from there in 2019, reinforcing it as a stronghold of the Paswan family.

Ram Vilas Paswan just lost two elections from the Hajipur seat -- in 1984 and 2009.

In 1984, there was a Congress wave in the country following the assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. At that time, Ram Ratan Ram of Congress defeated him.

In 2009, JD-U candidate Ram Sundar Das, who was part of the NDA, defeated Ram Vilas Paswan in Hajipur. In 1991, Ram Vilas Paswan contested the Lok Sabha election from the Rosera seat.

In the last three elections -- 2009, 2014 and 2019, NDA candidates have dominated in Hajipur.

In 2014, LJP was part of the NDA and Ram Vilas Paswan won the seat, defeating Congress' Sanjeev Prasad Tony. Sitting MP Ram Sundar Das came in the third position as the JD-U had contested that election alone.

In 2019, Ram Vilas Paswan gave the ticket to his younger brother Pashupati Kumar Paras to contest from Hajipur, who won the seat by defeating RJD's Shiv Chandra Ram.

In 2024, the contest is between the NDA and the Bihar's Mahagathbandhan.

Chirag Paswan, son of late Ram Vilas Paswan, is NDA's candidate from Hajipur and the responsibility to save the family's political legacy lies on his shoulder this time.

The RJD has fielded Sheochandra Ram from Hajipur.

Chirag Paswan also heaved a sigh of relief after his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras decided to stay in the NDA and support Chirag Paswan despite being dropped from the Hajipur seat.

The people of Hajipur supported the Paswan family for more than four decades. When Ram Vilas Paswan was the Railway Minister, he facilitated the opening of the Zonal Office of East Central Railway in Hajipur. Similarly, he gave the Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering & Technology (CIPET) to Hajipur when he was Union Chemical and Fertilizer Minister between 2004 to 2009.

Also, a National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) was established in Hajipur during Ram Vilas Paswan's tenure as a Central minister.

When Pashupati Kumar Paras was a minister in the Centre, he was instrumental in the opening of the National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM).

Chirag Paswan has an edge on this seat and the caste equation also supports him.

The people from the Paswan community considered Chirag Paswan as their leader after the death of his father. As LJP-Ram Vilas is an alliance partner of the NDA, the upper caste voters are also likely to support Chirag Paswan in Hajipur.

A sizable number of Kurmi-Kushwaha voters, who support the JD-U, in the constituency also comes as an added advantage for the NDA candidate.

Hajipur has around 19.5 lakh voters, which includes 10.22 lakh males and 9.26 females.

As far as the caste equation is concerned, there are around 3 lakh Paswan voters in Hajipur; there are also 3 lakh each voters belonging to the Yadav and Rajput communities.

Muslim (2 lakh), Bhumihar (1 lakh), Kushwaha (1.5 lakh), Brahmin (80,000), Kurmi (50,000), and Dalit-Mahadalits and others have a population of more than 3 lakh.

Hajipur Lok Sabha constituency comprises six assembly segments -- Hajipur, Mahua, Lalganj, Mahnar, Raghopur and Rajapakar. Four of them were won by the Mahagathbandhan and two by NDA in the 2020 Assembly elections.

Voting in Hajipur is scheduled to be held on May 20.

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