Caste in mind, Bihar rivals decide tickets

If the forward castes have walked away with about 86 seats of the 214 for which BJP-led NDA has named its candidates so far, the grand alliance has given 63 seats to yadavs alone as it tries to ensure that the state's most numerically strong caste continues to back it.

The upper castes do not constitute more than 14 percent of the electorate but the NDA has allocated them 40 percent of the seats so far, an indication of its reliance on them in a state where they form the core support base of BJP.

With BJP making concerted efforts to lure yadavs and giving them 22 seats, RJD's Lalu Prasad has gone out of the way to keep them on his side and allotted 48 seats from his party's quota of 101 to the backward community.