The fate of brothers Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) will be decided on Tuesday when 94 of the 243 seats in the legislative assembly will vote across 17 districts in the second phase of polling in the Bihar assembly election.
Tejashwi, the younger of the two siblings, is the RJD’s chief ministerial candidate and anointed heir of Lalu Prasad. Tejashwi’s main rival is Satish Kumar of the BJP from Vaishali’s Raghopur constituency where a total of 14 candidates are in the fray.
Tej Pratap is pitted against two-time MLA Raj Kumar Ray of the JD(U) from Samastipur’s Hasanpur constituency, which has eight candidates.
Tej Pratap’s father-in-law Chandrika Roy, who crossed over to the JD(U) from the RJD, will take on Chhote Lal Ray of the RJD from the Parsa constituency in Saran district.
A total of 1,463 candidates are in the electoral race in the second phase of polling.
RJD’s former minister Alok Kumar Mehta is a candidate from Ujiarpur where he faces BJP’s Sheel Kumar Roy among 20 candidates in the race.
In the NDA, JD(U)’s rural development and parliamentary affairs minister Shrawon Kumar will take on Gunjan Patel of the Congress from Nalanda constituency.
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Also testing political waters will be JD(U) leader and speaker of the Bihar legislative assembly Vijay Kumar Choudhary, who is pitted against Arbind Kumar Sahni of the RJD among 11 candidates from the Sarairanjan constituency in Samastipur district.
The RJD has put up 56 candidates, which is the maximum representation by any political party in the second phase.
The other constituents of the Grand Alliance have put up candidates on 38 seats, with the Congress contesting 24 seats and the three Left parties on 14 (CPI-ML six, CPI and CPM on four each).
The BJP is contesting 46 seats, JD(U) on 43 and the Vikasheel Insaan Party (VIP) on 5. Together with Hindustani Awaam Morcha (HAM), they form the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
The BJP is in direct contest with RJD on 27 seats and with Congress on 12. Similarly, the JD(U) has a direct contest with the RJD on 25 seats and with Congress on 12. The remaining seats have contests among candidates of the Left parties as also the LJP and the grand secular democratic front, led by RLSP chief and former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha.
In the last assembly elections in 2015, the RJD, JD(U) and Congress combine, which were part of the Grand Alliance, had won 70 of these 94 seats. The BJP won 20, LJP 2, CPI-ML and independent 1 each.
Nine of the 14 assembly constituencies in Patna district go to polls in the second phase on Tuesday. This includes Patna Sahib, where BJP road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav is seeking re-election for the seventh time. He is pitted against Praveen Kushwaha of the Congress among the total 13 candidates in the field. Yadav and Shrawon Kumar, two NDA ministers, were among the 18 candidates on 94 seats who had a victory margin of less than 5,000 votes in 2015.
Patna’s Kumhrar constituency will witness a contest between BJP MLA Arun Sinha and RJD’s Dharamendra Kumar. In Danapur, the fight again is between BJP MLA Asha Devi and RJD’s Ritlal Yadav.
In Bankipore, BJP MLA Nitin Navin squares up with Congress’ Luv Sinha, son of cine star-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha. Eyeing to topple the BJP applecart from this constituency are also Pushpam Priya, an alumna of the London School of Economics, from The Plurals Party, and independent candidate Manish Barriarr who graduated from the Oxford University.
In Digha, the contest is between BJP legislator Sanjiv Chaurasia, son of Sikkim governor Ganga Prasad, and Grand Alliance (GA) nominee Shashi Yadav from the CPI (ML).
The districts going to polls are West Champaran, East Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj, Siwan, Saran, Vaishali, Samastipur, Begusarai, Khagaria, Bhagalpur, Nalanda and Patna.
Assembly elections in 71 constituencies were held in the first phase on October 28. Seventy-eight constituencies will go to polls in the third and final phase on November 7. Results will be declared on November 10.
POLL FACTS (Second phase)
Total number of voters: 2,86.11,164
Male voters: 1,50,33,034
Female voters: 1,35,16,271
Third gender voters: 980
Service electors: 60,879
Total Number of candidates: 1,463
Male candidates: 1316
Female candidates: 146
Third Gender: 1
Party wise break-up of candidates: BJP 46, JD(U) 43, RJD 56, Congress 24, LJP 52, RLSP 36, CPI 4, CPM 4
Number of polling stations: 41,362
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