The Bagaha constituency situated in Bihar’s West Champaran district will vote on November 7 as a part of the third phase of Bihar Assembly Election 2020. Falling under the Valmiki Nagar (Lok Sabha constituency), Bagaha had been a stronghold of the Janata Dal(United) till 2010. In 2015, JD(U) as a part of then Mahagathbandhan lost this seat to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The top contenders for 2020 are Ram Singh from the BJP and Jayesh Manglam Singh of the Congress. Bagaha has a total population of 460,326 with a majority belonging to the rural section, as per the 2011 census.
The voting population for this assembly election is 3,04,920 comprising 1,62,224 men, 1,42,682 women and 14 from the third gender. The constituency along with many others in the state is hit by Maoist activities.
With 15 candidates in the fray, the 2015 election was won by BJP candidate Raghaw Sharan Pandey as he secured 74,476 votes and a vote share of 44.45 per cent. JD(U)’s Bhism Sahani trailed by a margin of 8,183 votes. Sahani managed to get 66,293 votes and nearly 40 per cent vote share.
Out of an electorate strength of 2,72,228 in 2015, the voter turnout stood at 61.59%.
Bagaha was retained by the JD(U) till 2010 when it was in partnership with the BJP. However, the JD(U) split from the latter and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in overall and joined hands with the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in the 2015 election and this alliance was called the Mahagathbandhan.
The Mahagathbandhan emerged as the winner in 2015 with 178 constituencies out of the total 243.
But infighting between the JD(U) and the RJD caused the Nitish Kumar-led party to re-unite with the BJP in 2017 and get inducted into the NDA once again.
The current government in Bihar is a coalition between the JD(U) and BJP with Nitish Kumar as chief minister and Sushil Kumar Modi as the deputy chief minister. In 2020 too, the partnership has chosen Nitish as the chief ministerial candidate for the NDA. The Mahagathbandhan this time has RJD, Congress and other left parties — with RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav as the chief ministerial candidate.
The 2020 election in Bihar is taking place at a time when the country is undergoing the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Polling, campaigning and all other processes of an election were held according to the Covid-19 guidelines laid down by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
The first and the second phase, which were held on October 28 and November 3, saw a voter turnout of around 55 per cent.
All eyes are set on the third phase as 78 constituencies will go to polling on Saturday.
The counting of votes and announcement of the results will be on November 10.
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