The Samajwadi Party and the Nationalist Congress Party have emerged as a formidable refuge for the rebels of the NDA and the Grand Alliance.
With both the NDA and the Grand Alliance determined to deny tickets to some of its sitting MLAs due to their poor performance and coalition obligations, almost all these sitting MLAs are planning to join either the SP or the NCP.
A sitting BJP MLA, who was denied ticket by the BJP on its first list of candidates declared on Tuesday, said he had received feelers from NCP leaders, who have promised him a ticket.
"I am visiting Delhi to meet senior BJP leaders and if they do not reconsider their decision to deny a ticket to me, I will be contesting on a NCP or SP ticket," one of the five BJP MLAs who have been denied party tickets said.
According to a BJP ticket seeker from Mithilanchal, the SP or NCP will be his first option if he fails to get a ticket from the BJP. "The NCP and SP have given a message to prospective ticket seekers that they will be providing their candidates with resources needed to contest the elections. I would rather contest on their ticket than independently," he said.
The SP and the NCP’s main voters will be Muslims and Yadavs. This means the Grand Alliance will be hit badly by these two parties.
According to Patna based political experts, the NCP and SP may not win too many seats but they will impact at least 35 seats that are dominated by Muslims and Yadavs.
"Neither the forward castes nor the backward castes are the targets of the NCP and SP. Their main voters will be the Muslims and the Yadavs, who are also the main supporters of the Grand Alliance. This will mean the NDA will benefit," a Patna based journalist said. NCP's Tariq Anwar has publicly stated that Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar are their main opponents.
An RJD party functionary admitted that NCP and SP are likely to eat into their vote banks. "Our assessment is that they will affect us in 15 seats," he said.