FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS
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.