Bihar goes for 2nd phase of polling on November 3, fate of 1,463 candidates to be sealed in ballot box

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Representative Image
Representative Image

Patna (Bihar) [India], November 2 (ANI): The second phase of Bihar polls will be held in 94 assembly constituencies spread over 17 districts of the state on November 3.

The campaigning for this phase of the elections ended on November 1 evening.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed seven rallies for this phase of the elections including four on November 1 at Chhapra, Samastipur, Motihari, and Bagaha.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav addressed 17 rallies and two roadshows on October 31. The previous record was held by the former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav who had held 16 public meetings in a single day.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressed two rallies for this phase of the elections.

A total of 1,463 candidates are contesting in this phase of the election out of which 1,316 are men, 146 women and one is transgender, according to Election Commission of India (ECI) data.

The maximum number of candidates contesting from one constituency is 27 from Maharajganj in Siwan district.

The minimum number of candidates contesting from one constituency is 4 from Darauli in Siwan district.

Nine constituencies of Bihar's capital Patna are going to polls in this phase. Besides Patna, the other districts in the fray are West Champaran, East Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj, Siwan, Saran, Vaishali, Samastipur, Begusarai, Khagaria, Bhagalpur and Nalanda.

According to the Election Commission, more than 2.85 crore voters will cast their votes in the second phase. Of the total 2,85,50,285 voters 1,50,33,034 are male, 1,35,16,271 female and 980 transgender, EC data revealed.

The Election Commission further said that it has set up a total of 41,362 booths at 18,823 polling stations.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded 46 candidates in the second phase of election, JD (U) 43, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) 56, Congress 24, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) 52 while the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party has fielded 36 candidates.

The ministers in the Bihar government whose fate would be sealed on November 3 are: Road Construction Minister Nand Kishore Yadav from Patna Sahib constituency, Rural Development Minister Shrawan Kumar from the Nalanda constituency, Ramsevak Singh from Hathua constituency and Rana Randhir Singh from Madhuban constituency.

Among the other important candidates in the fray in this phase of the Bihar election, RJD leader and Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav is contesting from the Raghopur constituency in Vaishali district. Tejashwi's elder brother and RJD leader Tej Pratap Yadav is contesting from the Hasanpur constituency in Samastipur district.

Congress leader and actor Shatrughan Sinha's son Luv Sinha is also contesting in the second phase of the election from Bankipur constituency in Patna district.

JD(U) has also fielded Chandrika Roy, the father of Tej Pratap Yadav's estranged wife Aishwarya Roy in the second phase of election.

As per the broader picture in the overall scheme of things, in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), JD-U is contesting 115 seats, BJP 110, Vikassheel Insaan Party 11 seats and Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha seven seats of the total 243 seats in the state.

In the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance), RJD is contesting 144 seats, Congress 70, CPI-ML 19, CPI six and CPI-M four.

Nitish Kumar is eyeing his fourth term with BJP by his side. In 2015, Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) fought polls with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress as part of Mahagathbandhan. The BJP- led NDA had fought elections with LJP and other allies. JD-U later returned to NDA and formed the government.

Bihar is witnessing a triangular contest with the ruling JDU-BJP alliance and grand alliance (RJD, Congress and others) and Chirag Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), which is eying the role of a kingmaker in case of a hung Assembly.

LJP is contesting 136 seats on its own and fielded candidates against all JD-U nominees and only a few against BJP.

The Election Commission has already mandated face masks, hand sanitizers, thermal scanners, gloves, face shields, and PPE kits during the electoral process while ensuring social distancing norms.

It also laid down guidelines for each polling station, including sanitization a day before the poll, markers for social distancing, putting up of COVID-19 awareness posters, and availability of hand gloves.

Bihar went for the first phase of elections on October 28 which witnessed 55.69 per cent polling.

The next two phases of polls will be held on November 3 and 7 and the results will be declared on November 10. (ANI)