Dalit politics has changed in Bihar after the death of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan. Who will be the new leader of Dalits in Bihar will have to wait till the election results. Because, this time Dalit voters are at the center of the election. This is the first election after fifty years, in which Dalit politics will not have a big face.
LJP President Chirag Paswan has contested the election alone. He is eyeing the Dalit votes. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has also pushed forward Ashok Chaudhary and Jitan Ram Manjhi to counter him in politics. The grand alliance is also eyeing 16 per cent Dalit votes. Therefore, after the result it will be decided who is the next leader of the Dalits.
Chirag’s challenges have increased with the demise of Ram Vilas Paswan in the midst of the election. It is true that LJP may get some sympathy votes, but the goal in front of Chirag is to establish himself as a Dalit leader. For this, along with Paswan, he will have to mobilize the support of Ravidas and Musahars. Because, more than 70 percent of the Dalits are these three castes.
In the last two assembly elections, LJP has been getting two-three seats. In 2010, the party got around seven percent of the vote with three seats. Whereas in 2015 it got two seats and five percent of the vote. While in the Lok Sabha, LJP was successful in winning eight percent votes and six seats by contesting with BJP and JDU. In such a situation, the path of lamp is not easy.
A senior LJP leader said that Paswan has a large number of voters in about one and a half dozen seats in Bihar. Along with this, Paswan also has voters in about 50 seats. In such a situation, BJP supporters with LJP Paswan are successful in raising votes, then they can reach the threshold of victory. The party is contesting the assembly elections under this strategy.
Political experts believe that Ram Vilas Paswan was very tall. With this, he used to take all the family members along. The workers also had direct access to them. In such a situation, keeping the Paswan community united, the family will also have to take along. Because, many leaders believe that they can be challenged inside the family as well.