Samastipur: The ruling JD(U) is striving hard to retain Kalyanpur (SC) assembly seat in Bihar`s Samastipur district with the LJP and Congress candidates among eight contestants for the February 24 bypoll.
As the electioneering entered the final phase with LJP President Ramvilas Paswan camping in the constituency, JD(U) too has swung into action and rushed as many as a dozen ministers to canvass.
Apparently at the directive of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Rural Works and Panchayati Raj Minister Bhim Singh, Food and Consumer Protection Minister Shyam Rajak were among prominent JD(U) leaders who have been campaigning for ruling party nominee Manju Devi.
There are 2.25 lakh electorate in Kalyanpur (SC) assembly seat with the upper caste Bhumihars and Kushwaha (OBC) being the dominant players.
Paswan`s LJP, which fielded Rekha Devi as its candidate, has set eyes on the dalit and upper caste voters to tilt the scale in its favour and hospes to trounce ruling JD(U) whose candidate in 2010 Ramsevak Hazari had won the elections by a handsome margin of 30,197 votes against the LJP rival Vishwanath Paswan, who had come second with 31,924 votes.
The LJP expects to draw support of sizeable Yadav and Muslim votes too with the ally RJD wooing its core support base in favour of the LJP candidate.
The bypoll has been necessitated following the death of the sitting JD(U) MLA Ramsevak Hazari recently. The current JD-U nominee is a former panchayat-run school teacher.
The Congress has put up Anita Ram as its candidate and its state unit chief Chaudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser was himself spearheading campaign of his party nominee.
The byepoll will take place on February 24 and the results will be declared on February 28, according to a notification by Election Commission.