Bhojpuri Superstar Pawan Singh Shakes Up Karakat Polls with Independent Bid

GG News Bureau
Karakat, 28th May. 
Since Bhojpuri superstar Pawan Singh entered the political arena, the Karakat Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar is witnessing a thrilling electoral contest. Singh, whose decision to run as an Independent led to his expulsion from the BJP, is at the heart of a multi-cornered battle that promises a nail-biting finish.

Established in the delimitation of 2008 and comprising three assembly segments each of Rohtas and Aurangabad districts, Karakat has consistently supported the BJP-led NDA. This time, the NDA is backing former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha.

Representing the INDIA bloc is Raja Ram Singh Kushwaha, a former MLA of the CPI(ML) Liberation who won the Obra seat in Rohtas twice in the late 1990s. Adding further complexity to the race, Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM has fielded Priyanka Chaudhary, a local zila parishad member, with Owaisi recently campaigning in her favor.

Kushwaha won the seat in his debut in 2014, earning a berth in the Union Council of Ministers. However, by the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he was out of the NDA and lost the seat to Mahabali Singh of JD(U).

“I am sure people in Karakat remember my concern for its development during the five years I represented the seat,” said Kushwaha, now heading Rashtriya Lok Morcha. He emphasized his efforts in helping children from Karakat gain admission to central schools and his readiness to assist people from all communities.

Pawan Singh, attracting the largest crowds while filing his nomination papers, compares himself to “Abhimanyu” from the Mahabharata, hoping for a victorious outcome. “I have a manifesto for Karakat, sharing my vision for promoting film-making and tourism, which this area with its hills, forests, and waterfalls is perfect for,” Singh stated.

Hailing from the adjacent Bhojpur district, Singh aims to revive the industrial units in Dalmianagar township, which residents of Rohtas hold dear.

The NDA, recognizing its candidate’s lack of weight, is concerned that Singh, an upper caste Rajput, could disrupt the BJP support base. Consequently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have campaigned in Karakat, even though their party is not contesting the seat. They highlighted the dangers of Naxal violence, warning that a victory for the CPI(ML) Liberation candidate could reignite violent clashes between ultra-Left guerrillas and private militias.

Raja Ram Kushwaha relies on his party’s cadre and support from its senior ally, the RJD. In the 2020 state assembly polls, the Mahagathbandhan swept Karakat, with RJD winning five assembly seats and CPI(ML) securing the remaining one. As the June 1 polls approach, the alliance is focused on preventing a split in minority votes, a real possibility following Owaisi’s campaign for Chaudhary.

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