FRIENDS WITH BEN­E­FITS

India Today - - EAR TO THE GROUND - by Ku­mar An­shu­man

Party Ma­han Dal Al­liance with Congress

Congress is in a pre-elec­tion pact with this hitherto un­heard of party claim­ing in­flu­ence among back­ward castes such as the Shakyas, Mau­ryas and Kush­wa­has in western Ut­tar Pradesh. Ma­han Dal chief Ke­shav Dev Mau­rya has been ad­dress­ing small po­lit­i­cal ral­lies since early 2013 and is now poised to spear­head his party’s de­but elec­tion from as many as three Lok Sabha con­stituen­cies. He’s con­fi­dent his al­liance with Congress will draw vot­ers’ at­ten­tion to his nom­i­nees.

Party Rashtriya Lok Sa­mata Dal Al­liance with BJP

The party was floated in Bi­har by Upen­dra Kush­waha, a for­mer JD(U) MP who quit the party in Jan­uary 2013. Claim­ing wide sup­port amid the Koiri and Kurmi—back­ward com­mu­ni­ties that have largely backed Ni­tish Ku­mar in re­cent elec­tions— Kush­waha has wrested three Lok Sabha seats as part of a pre-poll al­liance with BJP. There are no guesses for what’s the hot new heart­land vo­ca­tion—it is float-a-party time.

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