Bihar polls: Voting in first phase of Bihar assembly elections for 71 of 243 seats on Wednesday
Apart from the three election meetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, NDA leaders including chief minister and JD (U) chief Nitish Kumar and several Union ministers campaigned in the first phase. From the opposition camp, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav touched almost every assembly seat which will go to the polls in this phase.
Perhaps the most interesting battle is in Imamganj (SC seat) in Gaya district from where former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, who is an NDA nominee, is facing the RJD nominee and former speaker of the state assembly Udai Narain Choudhari. Both vie for the title of the state’s most prominent face of Mahadalits. The Dinara seat in Rohtas district has been in news because of the presence of a rebel, Rajendra Singh, who was expelled by the BJP recently and is contesting against the JD(U) nominee and Bihar minister Jai Kumar Singh. Rajendra Singh is contesting the election as a nominee of the Chirag Paswan-headed LJP.
Similarly, Sasaram has a rebel, Rameshwar Chaurasia, in the fray as an LJP nominee. The BJP recently expelled Chaurasia from the party for six years.
In Jamui, 29-year-old shooter Shreyasi Singh is the BJP nominee against the RJD candidate Vijay Prakash. Chirag Paswan has extended his party’s support to Singh, who had won a gold medal in the double trap shooting event at Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018. Her mother, Putul Singh, represented Banka seat in the past. Her father, late Digvijay Singh, was former Union minister. BJP leader and agriculture minister Prem Kumar is seeking to enter the state assembly for the eighth consecutive term from the Gaya (town) seat. The Congress, which is part of the RJD-headed opposition alliance, has fielded Akhauri Omkarnath against Prem Kumar.
“Besides unemployment, inflation is a big issue in Bihar elections”
Santosh Kumar Nirala, the state transport minister, is in the fray from his Rajpur seat (SC) in Buxar. He faces the Congress nominee Vishwanath Ram. The districts where voting will be held in this phase include Bhagalpur, Banka, Munger, Lakhisarai, Sheikhpura, Patna, Bhojpur, Kaimur, Arwal, Jehanabad, Aurangabad and Nawada.