'Bihar Election Present Scenario': Stakes are high in the third phase of polls

Out of 78 seats in third phase of polls, the grand alliance in 2015 had won 54 Assembly seats (the JD(U) 24, the RJD 20 and the Congress 10).

Shivani Arora

Shivani AroraBy Shivani Arora

Published on 7 Nov 2020 5:20 PM GMT

Bihar Election Present Scenario: Stakes are high in the third phase of polls
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BIHAR ELECTION PRESENT SCENERIO
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For both the JD(U)-led NDA and RJD-led UPA stakes are high in the third phase of polls in constituencies comprising Seemanchal, Kosi and Mithila areas where Muslim, Yadav and Extremely Backward Class votes largely decide the fate of candidates.

JD(U) president Mr. Kumar, 69, who is seeking his fourth consecutive term, made an emotional appeal to voters that this was going to be his last election. “Parso chunav hai aur yeh mera aakhiri chunav hai…aur ant bhala to sab bhala (Day after tomorrow is election day and it will be my last election. All’s well that ends well),” said Mr. Kumar, while addressing a public meeting at Dhamdaha in Purnia district of northeast Bihar.

RJD leader and party spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari said, “Our leader Tejashwi Yadav has been saying for long that on November 10, the farewell of Nitish Kumar is guaranteed. Yeh to aise bhi unka last chunav hi tha (it was anyway to be his last election).”

bihar election exitpole

BJP leader Prem Ranjan Patel countered Mr. Tiwari saying that the JD(U) chief “might have meant that it was the last phase of poll of the ongoing election”. Even if Mr. Kumar wanted to retire, the people of Bihar would not like him to do so, Mr. Patel said.

In an interview to a news channel a few days ago, Mr. Kumar had said that “he would work until people would like him to work”.

Numbers game

Out of 78 seats in third phase of polls, the grand alliance in 2015 had won 54 Assembly seats (the JD(U) 24, the RJD 20 and the Congress 10). Both the JD(U) and the RJD were part of an alliance in the 2015 poll. But, later, the JD(U) chief parted ways with the RJD in 2017 to join hands with the BJP to retain the Chief Minister’s post. The BJP had got 19 seats while five seats had gone to smaller regional parties.

BIHAR ELECTION PRESENT SCENERIO

“Muslims in Seemanchal area are known for tactical voting. The AIMIM (All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen) can make the difference as the BJP will be keeping a close eye on any division of minority votes” said political analyst Ajay Jha of A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Sciences.

In third phase, as many as 12 Ministers — eight from the JD(U) and four from the BJP — of Mr. Kumar’s cabinet are contesting. The Opposition too has prominent candidates such as Abdul Bari Siddiqui (Kewati), Ramai Ram (Bochaha), State secretary of CPI Ram Naresh Pandey (Harlakhi), Lovely Anand (Saharsa) and Shiv Chandra Ram (Patepur). State Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhury is contesting from the Sarairanjan constituency on the JD(U) ticket against RJD candidate Arvind Kumar Sahni. There are 1,204 candidates in the fray, with 110 women nominees.

Demographics

The Muslim-dominated Seemanchal region comprises Kishanganj, Purnia, Araria and Katihar districts while the Kosi area of Saharsa and Madhepura has dominant Yadav and Rajput voters. The Mithila region of Darbhanga and Madhubani has more Brahmin and Muslim voters. The BJP has been doing well in bordering areas of northeast Bihar on the division of Muslim votes and consolidation of Hindu votes. The

Muslim population of Seemanchal is divided into three sub-castes of Kulahiya, Surajapuri and Bhatt and they are known to be opposed with each other. This border area has also been the focus region for AIMIM. The AIMIM candidate had even won the Kishanganj Assembly bypoll in 2019. However, the Congress too has a formidable presence in some constituencies of Seemanchal. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress candidate Mohammad Javed was the lone Opposition candidate to win the poll against the NDA, which had pocketed 39 out of the total of 40 LS seats in Bihar.

Darbhanga Assembly Constituency 2020

ABOUT DARBHANGA CONSTITUENCY

Darbhanga is one of the 243 Bihar Legislative Assembly Constituencies that comes under the Darbhanga district. People of Darbhanga will vote for Bihar Assembly Election 2020 on November 7 and the results will be declared on November 10.

In 2015, the Darbhanga assembly seat had 2,82,045 registered voters. Of the, 1,51,474 were male and 1,30,557 were female voters. 0.4% of votes were casted for NOTA.

WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME

In the 2015 Bihar Legislative Assembly Election, there were 15 candidates in the fray from Darbhanga constituency. Darbhanga was one of 53 seats won by the Rashtriya Janata Dal. It was a close contest with Bharatiya

Janta Party's Sanjay Saraogi winning the election upstaging Rashtriya Janata Dal's Om Prakash Kheria by a margin of just 7,460 votes. The top two candidates split 90.7% of votes between them. Bharatiya Janta

Party's Sanjay Saraogi got a total of 77,776 votes, while Rashtriya Janata Dal's Om Prakash Kheria secured 70,316 votes. Independent candidate Jagadish Sah secured 3,609 votes to finish at the third place. The top three parties got 47.7%, 43.1% and 2.2% respectively.

In Bihar Assembly election 2010, Bharatiya Janta Party's Sanjay Saraogi defeated Rashtriya Janata Dal's Sultan Ahmad by 27,554 votes.

Bullet Points:

Valmiki Nagar, all the 78 poll-bound assembly segments spread across 19 districts fall in north Bihar, as areas falling north of the Ganges in the state are called in common parlance.

Many of these fall in the Kosi-Seemanchal region where the contest between NDA and Grand Alliance will be held under the shadow of Owaisi factor given the fact that the AIMIM has fielded candidates in many of the Muslim-dominated seats here and the Hyderabad MP also carried out a hectic campaign.

The Kosi-Seemanchal region also happens to be the main area of influence for maverick former MP Pappu Yadav, whose Jan Adhikar Party is determined to make its presence felt and prove a point to the RJD as both draw their support from the states most populous community the Yadavs.

As in the previous two phases, Chirag Paswan's LJP is also in the fray in a number of seats this time, threatening to play spoilsport for the NDA, especially the JD(U) with its repeated pleas that "every vote cast in favour of the chief minister's party will be a loss for Bihar's future". Prominent candidates include Vijay Kumar Chaudhary of JD (U),speaker of the outgoing assembly, famed for his ability to win over hostile opponents with a disarming smile, who seeks to do a hat-trick in Sarairanjan.

As per the Election Commission data, Kishanganj has more than 60% Muslim population, followed by Araria (45%), Katihar (40%) and Purnia (more than 30%). Hence, the narratives for the final phase changed. The NRC, CAA and migration issues dominated the electoral scene.

Seemanchal is traditionally considered as RJD bastion. In 2015, the JD(U) had managed to bag 23 seats in the region. Then, the JD(U) was part of GA and hence voters of Muslim community backed it. The equation has now changed as the JD(U) has joined hands with the saffron party.

In Grand Alliance, 46 candidates are contesting on RJD tickets, 25 on Congress tickets, five on CPI-ML (Liberation) and two on CPI tickets. In NDA, the JD(U) is contesting 37 seats, BJP 35, VIP five and HAM(S) one. The LJP, which is contesting solo, has put up its candidates on 42 seats, mostly against the JD(U).

The other key players in the third phase are the Grand Democratic Secular Front comprising RLSP, AIMIM and BSP. “The NDA’s prospects largely depend on Mithilanchal with focus on Seemanchal. Multi-corner contest is expected in Seemanchal and Kosi belts,” Pramod Kumar, a political observer, said.

Munger Assembly Constituency 2020

ABOUT MUNGER CONSTITUENCY

Munger is one of the 243 Bihar Legislative Assembly Constituencies that comes under the Munger district. People of Munger voted for Bihar Assembly Election 2020 on October 28 and the results will be declared on November 10.

In 2015, the Munger assembly seat had 3,10,867 registered voters. Of the, 1,69,440 were male and 1,41,400 were female voters. 0.6% of votes were casted for NOTA.

WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME

In the 2015 Bihar Legislative Assembly Election, there were 14 candidates in the fray from Munger constituency. Munger was one of 80 seats won by the Bharatiya Janta Party. It was a close contest with Rashtriya Janata Dal's Vijay Kumar 'vijay' winning the election upstaging Bharatiya Janta Party's Pranav Kumar by a margin of just 4,365 votes.

88.7% of votes were split between top 2 candidates. Rashtriya Janata Dal's Vijay Kumar 'vijay' got a total of 77,216 votes, while Bharatiya Janta Party's Pranav Kumar secured 72,851 votes. Independent candidate Subodh Verma bagged 4,008 votes to finish at the third place. The top three parties got 45.6%, 43.0% and 2.4% respectively.

In Bihar Assembly election 2010, Janata Dal (United)'s Anant Kumar Satyarthy trumped Rashtriya Janata Dal's Shabnam Perwin by 17,613 votes.

POINTS:

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has nominated Avinash Kumar Vidyarthi from the Munger assembly constituency with an aim to win from the seat once again in Bihar Assembly Election 2020. Other candidates who are in the fray from the Munger seat are Pranav Kumar Yadav of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and MD Mokim of Nationalist Congress Party, Subodh Verma of the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) and Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP’s) Subodh Tanti among others.

In the last assembly elections in Bihar, the RJD’s Vijay Kumar ‘Vijay’ had defeated Pranav Kumar Yadav of the BJP by a margin of 4,365 votes. The RJD has changed its candidate this year but the BJP has retained Pranav Kumar Yadav. Voter turnout was 54.26% in the Bihar Assembly Election 2015 and it was 54.85% in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Polling for the Munger assembly constituency, which is in Munger district of Bihar and comes under the Munger Lok Sabha seat, will take place in the first phase on October 28. Out of the total population of 456,751, 52.22% is rural and 47.78% is urban, the 2011 census data shows. The Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) ratio is 9.63 and 0.3, respectively. As per the voter list of 2019, there are 330,355 electorates and 335 polling stations in this constituency.

This year, the BJP is fighting these elections along with the JD(U); the Congress has joined hands with the RJD and three other Left parties to form the Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance to challenge the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The LJP, led by Chirag Paswan, is going solo this time in the Bihar assembly elections.

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BODH GAYA (SC) ASSEMBLY CONSTITUENCY

In the Bihar Assembly elections 2020 Kumar Sarvjeet of RJD and Hari Manjhi of BJP will contest the polls from Bodh Gaya (SC) Assembly constituency. In the 2015 Bihar Assembly election, the Bodh Gaya (SC) constituency was won by Kumar Sarvjeet of RJD, and Shyamdeo Paswan of BJP was the runner-up.

Kumar Sarvjeet polled 49.98 percent votes, while Shyamdeo Paswan polled 31.55 percent votes in the 2015 Bihar elections. Rashtriya Janata Dal got 80 seats in the 2015 Assembly elections, while Janata Dal (United ) managed to win 71 seats.

Bharatiya Janata Party won 53 seats and Congress won 27 seats. Nitish Kumar became the chief minister forming an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party after its previous attempt to form a stable government with

Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress did not last long.

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Shivani Arora

Shivani Arora

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