Patna, Oct 11:
What do Ram, Krishna, Shayam, Shiv, Shatrughan, Arjun, Shakuni, Subhash Chandra Bose and Prahlad have in common — all are candidates contesting the Bihar assembly election.
There are many candidates named after Hindu god Ram, while in many places Shayam and Krishna are contesting against Shiv.
Candidates with names of other mythological icons like Arjun, Shatrughan, Shakuni and Prahlad are also in the fray.
“Many parties have fielded candidates named after Ram. There is hardly one among the 243 assembly constituencies without a candidate named after Ram. In some constituency, candidates named after Ram are fighting against each other,” said Ranjeev, a political activist.
It is not only the NDA — comprising the BJP and its allies LJP, RLSP and HAM — but the grand alliance of the JD-U, the RJD and the Congress also has a number of Rams as candidates. Even the Left parties have fielded a number of Rams.
“The large number of candidates named after Ram reflect the respect, devotion and popularity of him more than other god,” said RLSP’s media in-charge Chandrabhusan Kumar.
The BJP has nearly two dozen candidates named after Ram — Ramji in Raniganj constituency, Ram Sunder Yadav in Phulparas, Ram Lakhan Singh in Teghda, Ramanand Ram in Bakhri, Ram Devi Mahto in Madhubani, Ram Janam Sharma in Paliganj and Ram Preet Paswan in Rajnagar.
Candidates in BJP’s allies LJP, RLSP and HAM also have candidates named after Ram, including former chief minister and HAM president Jitan Ram Manjhi, who is contesting from two assembly seats — Makhdumpur in Jehanabad district and Imamganj in Gaya district.
HAM state president Shakuni Choudhari is contesting from Tarapur and LJP candidate Prince Raj — the son of party chief Ram Vilas Paswan’s younger brother Ram Chander Paswan — is contesting from Kalyanpur.
The LJP has fielded a candidate from Sikandara named after national icon Subhash Chandra Bose.
The grand alliance is also not behind as far as candidates with mythological names are concerned.
The JD-U has fielded Ramanand Singh from Parbatta, Ram Chandra Prasad from Gurua, Ramai Ram from Bochahan and Ram Sevak Singh from Hathua.
It has fielded Shayam Razak from Phulwarisharif, Krishna Nandan Verma from Ghosi, Krishna Kumar from Amnour, Shatrughan Mandal from Sikti and Prabhunath Ram from Agiaon.
Lalu Prasad’s RJD also has candidates with mythological names.
The party has fielded Prahlad Yadav from Suryagarha, Kunti Devi from Atri, Ramanuj Prasad from Sonepur, Ramanand Yadav from Fatuha, Ram Vishnu Singh from Jagdishpur, Laxmi Narayan Yadav from Chiraia and Sita Ram Yadav from Khajauli seat.
The Congress has Ramdeo Rai in Bachwahara, Mangal Ram in Chenari, Purnmasi Ram in Ramnagar and Surendra Ram in Bathnaha.
Around 66.8 million people are eligible to vote in the five-phase assembly polls from October 12 to November 5. Votes will be counted on November 8. (IANS)