As Bihar goes for the first phase of assembly polls on Wednesday, several key candidates are contesting on the 71 seats.
Among the key constituencies that go for polls today are Imamganj, Sasaram, Dinara, Gaya, Munger, Jamui, Mokama, Jamalpur, Chainpur and Buxar.
Key candidates including- Jitan Ram Manjhi, Commonwealth shooter Shreyasi Singh, Prem Kumar, Jai Kumar Singh and Anant Kumar Singh of RJD will test their ground in Bihar.
Anant Kumar Singh
In Mokama the local strongman and MLA Anant Singh is contesting on an RJD ticket. From 2005 to 2010, Singh won the seat as a JD(U) candidate. In 2015, after JD(U) denied him a ticket, he won as an Independent. The Mokama Assembly seat, dominated by Bhumihaar and Yadavs, has seen only local strongmen as its MLAs. In 90’s Singh’s brother Dilip became a legislator from here on a Janata Dal ticket. Since then, Singh has won this seat four times.
Jitan Ram Manjhi
The Hindustani Awam Morcha party head Jitan Ram Manjhi is contesting from Imamganj against RJD candidate Uday Narayan Choudhary, former Bihar Assembly Speaker and veteran Dalit leader. Manjhi is the lone member of his party in the assembly. Manjhi had quit the JD(U) in 2015 after being forced to step down as the chief minister to make way for the return of Kumar. He later formed the HAM(S) and contested 21 seats in the 2015 Bihar assembly elections as an NDA constituent. With the return of Kumar to the NDA in July 2017, he walked out of it to join hands with the opposition grouping.
Shreyasi Singh is a Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning shooter, is a BJP candidate in the Bihar assembly election. Singh recently entered politics and joined the BJP. She is the daughter of former union minister and Lok Sabha MP, Digvijay Singh, who died in 2010. She is contesting from the Jamui assembly seat.
For the last 30 years in Gaya, nobody has been able to breach this BJP fortress. Bihar’s Agriculture Minister Prem Kumar has won this seat six times in a row. So important is his stature in state politics, that he has been accommodated into the cabinet each time an NDA government was sworn into power. This seat will be a litmus test of BJP’s popularity in the region.
Jai Kumar Singh
Dinara is the hometown of JD(U)’s Minister of Department of Science and Technology, Jai Kumar Singh. He has won from here twice and is now looking for a hat-trick. Fighting against him on a Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) ticket is BJP rebel Rajendra Singh. Singh, who lost the last election by just 2,600 votes, is a former vice-president of BJP’s Bihar unit.
Polling began in 71 assembly constituencies of Bihar today in the first phase of three-phase elections amid tight security and Covid-19 guidelines in place. Of the nearly 2.15 crore electors eligible to exercise the franchise, 1.12 crore are male, 1.01 crore female and 599 are categorised as third gender, according to data provided by the Election Commission.
The first phase of polling for 71 constituencies and includes sensitive and Naxal-hit areas such as Rohtas, Kaimur, Jahanabad, Bhojpur, Gaya, Nawada, Nalanda and Munger. In order to take precautions the authorities have seized illegal weapons, liquor and taken bonds from criminals.