Unlike two previous phases, smaller parties to play more important role in third phase
Two-thirds of the public has voted in the Bihar and the rest will be voting on November 7. The first two phases have been crucial for both the NDA and the Mahagathbandhan. The third phase in which polling will take place on 78 seats in 15 districts would seal the fate of 1207 candidates who are taking part in it. Among 1207, there are some VIP candidates, many of us are looking forward to.
Hot seats of the third phase
Leaders such as Sharad Yadav’s daughter Suhasini Yadav from Bihariganj, Abdul Bari Siddiqui from Kewati, Nikhil Mandal from Madhepura, Lovely Anand from Saharsa and Akhtarul Iman from Amour are some VIP candidates who would be dominant in the post-poll details analysis.
Eight ministers of the Janata Dal-United are also contesting in the third phase. They are Suresh Sharma from Muzaffarpur, Vinod Narayan Jha from Benipatti, Power minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav from Supaul, Madan Sahani from Bahadurpur, Bima Bharti from Rupauli, Laxmeshwar Rai from Laukaha, Maheshwar Hajari from Kalyanpu, Ramesh Rishidev from Singheshwar, and Narendra Narayan Yadav from Alamnagar.
Unlike the first two phases, where the electoral contest was mainly between the Mahagathbandhan and the ruling NDA along with the LJP making a triangular fight in some constituencies, this phase is expected to witness multi-cornered contest on many seats. Other key players this time would be Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP, Mayawati’s BSP, Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM and Pappu Yadav’s JAP.
The contest by large pans out between the ruling NDA and its rival Mahagathbandhan, but as the majority of the areas falls in the Muslim-dominated Seemanchal belt, Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM and Chirag Paswan’s LJP could end up cutting votes of larger parties. Last time, AIMIM won a seat from Kishanganj, a Muslim-dominated area.
The 24 seats of the Seemanchal area is considered a stronghold of Tejashwi’s RJD, courtesy the Muslim-Yadav dominated cadres. Of the 24 seats, 14 seats are in Mahagathbandhan’s hands while NDA is ruling on 9 seats currently.
What happened last time?
In 2015 assembly elections in Bihar, JDU won 23 seats. It was a part of the grand alliance then and hence voters of Muslim community backed the party. But the equation has changed as it has joined hands with BJP. Voter’s sentiment is likely to change. Overall Mahagathbandhan had won 54 of these 78 seats in the 2015 elections. JDU had won 24, RJD 20, and Congress 10.
National Democratic Alliance comprising Bhartiya Janata Party, Lok Jan Shakti Party, Hindustan Aawam Morcha could win just 24 seats from the region. 19 of these seats were won by BJP.
Who is contesting on how many seats this time?
For the NDA, Nitish’s JDU is contesting on 37 seats, BJP on 35, Mukesh Sahni’s VIP on 5 seats and Majhi’s HAM on 1 seat. For the Mahagathbandhan, RJD is contesting on 46 seats, Congress on 25 constituencies, CPI-ML on 5 seats and CPI on 2 seats.
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