Darbhanga election result: Can RJD’s Abdul Bari Siddiqui breach BJP’s fortress?

FE Online
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Darbhanga Lok Sabha election result 2019: Darbhanga is one of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. It comprises six Assembly segments — Gaura Bauram, Benipur, Alinagar, Darbhanga Rural, Darbhanga and Bahdurpur. According to Election Commission data, the constituency has over 14 lakh registered voters. Darbhanga city is the headquarters of the Darbhanga district which falls in the northern region of Bihar. The economy here is mainly driven by agriculture and the district has been identified among the 250 districts in the country that are economically underdeveloped.

The seat has been represented by the BJP and RJD since 1998 on an alternate basis. However, the jinx was broken in 2014 when cricketer-turned-politician and BJP leader Kirti Azad won for a second consecutive term. Kirti Azad had previously won from here in 1999. This time, Azad is not in the fray and is contesting on a Congress ticket from Dhanbad Lok Sabha seat in Jharkhand. The contest in Darbhanga is between senior RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui and BJP’s Gopal Ji Thakur.

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Siddiqui is a former Bihar Finance minister and an MLA representing Alinagar seat in Bihar Legislative assembly. A seven-time MLA, he is known to be very close to RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s family. Siddiqui had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 and 2014 from Madhubani seat. On both the occasions, he had lost to BJP’s Hukmdev Narayan Yadav.

On the other hand, Gopal Ji Thakur is a former MLA from Benipur and currently serves as the vice-president of the BJP’s Bihar unit. An agriculturist by profession, Thakur has been active in Darbhanga district and enjoys a clean image.

Darbhanga has a total 15 lakh registered votes of which 15.44% are SC and 0.6% are ST. In 2014 elections, the constituency had witnessed a turnout of 55.45%. This time, the seat went to the polls in the fourth phase on April 29. The total turnout was 58.23%.