Bihar Polls: Tejashwi, 4 ministers of Nitish govt in fray in 2nd phase
The stage is set for the second and, arguably, the most crucial of the three phases of Bihar assembly elections in which over 2.85 crore voters are eligible to decide the fate of nearly 1,500 candidates on Tuesday.
Patna: The stage is set for the second and, arguably, the most crucial of the three phases of Bihar assembly elections in which over 2.85 crore voters are eligible to decide the fate of nearly 1,500 candidates on Tuesday.
Voting will take place on November 3 in 94 assembly segments, more than a third of the 243-strong assembly spread across 17 districts, all of which but three -- Patna, Bhagalpur and Nalanda -- are situated north of the Ganges.
Notable among the candidates is the RJD's Tejashwi Yadav, the opposition Grand Alliance's Chief Ministerial candidate, who has been aggressively trying to cash in on the anti-incumbency factor against the Nitish Kumar government.
The 31-year-old is seeking re-election from Raghopur in Vaishali district which he had wrested back for his party from the BJP's Satish Kumar in 2015. The BJP leader had defeated Yadav's mother Rabri Devi, a former chief minister, in 2010.
The BJP has retained its trust in Satish Kumar, hoping that the giant killer will be able to do a repeat of 2010 when, like this time, JD(U) president and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was with the NDA.
Tejashwi's elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav is trying his luck from Hasanpur in Samastipur district, shifting his base from Mahua in Vaishali.
There were said to be fears in the RJD camp that Tej Pratap's bid to retain Mahua could be challenged by the NDA through his estranged wife Aishwarya as its trump card.
She is already taking an active part in the campaign for her father Chandrika Roy in Parsa, which he has represented a number of times and is seeking to retain on a JD(U) ticket this time.
All the four assembly segments in the capital city Patna Sahib, Kumhrar, Bankipur and Digha are also going to polls in the second phase.
All these are held by the BJP.
State minister Nand Kishore Yadav is in the fray trying to retain Patna Sahib for a seventh consecutive term.
Multiple-term MLA Nitin Nabin faces a challenge in Bankipur from Congress candidate Luv Sinha, who is the son of actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, a two-time local MP who lost the seat when he entered the fray after quitting the BJP.
The BJP has retained as its candidates Arun Sinha and Sanjiv Chaurasia for Kumhrar and Digha respectively.
Seven constituencies of Nalanda district, to which Chief Minister Nitish Kumar belongs, also go to polls in the second phase. Barring Hilsa, represented by the RJD's Shakti Singh Yadav, and Bihar Sharif, which two-term MLA Sunil Kumar retained on a BJP ticket in 2015, all the remaining five were won by the JD(U).The assembly segment named after the district is represented by state minister Shrawan Kumar who is seeking re-election from the seat.
The JD(U) has suffered a setback in the reserved Rajgir seat where its sitting MLA Ravi Jyoti, a former police inspector, is now the fray on a Congress ticket