Scores of youths particularly from Dalit hamlets have migrated to cities in search of a livelihood even as identity politics refuses to die. In Jagdishpur, where Babu Veer Kunwar Singh once raised the banner of revolt against the Britishers and became a hero in folklore, animated debates on elections go on at roadside tea shops.

At the Sikarhata Mushhar toli in Tarari assembly segment in the district, Ramji Manjhi rues that youth have no work there and hence have to leave homes early in search of livelihood. Many Dalit youths leave homes just before their marriage to earn some money to start family life.

Though the land in the region has been fertile, control of resources in few hands has forced the vast majority to leave their home to eke out two square meals.

Tarari is witnessing a high profile contest with candidates including a don-turned politician, a former Union Minister and son of a dreaded caste warlord. Indu Bhushan Singh is a pale shadow of his father Brahmeshwar Singh Mukhia, who headed the dreaded Ranveer Sena, a banned upper caste militia, which allegedly carried out a number of caste carnages in entire Bihar.

Contesting on a Samajwadi Party ticket Singh is trying to make the contest quadrangular in Tarari in Bhojpur, the hot seat of caste politics in the state where bloodbath in the name of land and honour between the upper caste landlords and the land tilling dalits and lower castes led by ultra left forces made international headlines in the nineties.

He promises to fight for farmers. NDA's candidate is Gita Pandey, wife of don-turned politician Sunil Pandey, the Mahagathbandan has fielded former Union Minister Akhilesh Prasad Singh from Congress and CPI-ML is banking on a local Sudama Prasad.

BJP has fielded all its four sitting MLAs in Ara, Shahpur, Sandesh and Agiaon but it remains to be seen whether it repeats its performance after breaking off from JD-U.

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