Situated along the Indo-Nepal border, Forbesganj assembly constituency of Bihar was once a stronghold of the Congress party but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been winning the seat since 1990, except in 2000 when a BSP legislator got elected from the seat.
It will be a litmus test for the BJP in Forbesganj that falls in the Araria district of the state. The constituency will go to polls on November 7 along with 77 others in the third and final phase of the Bihar assembly elections.
While BJP’s Pradeep Kumar Singh is the Lok Sabha MP of Araria, Vidya Sagar Keshri is the MLA of Forbesganj Legislative Assembly, which is the native constituency of litterateur Phanishwar Nath Renu.
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Keshri, who defeated Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Krityanand Vishwas by a margin of over 25,000 votes in the 2015 assembly polls, is looking to retain the seat for a second term. The grand old party only lost the seat once between 1952 and 1985. In 1962, Saryu Mishra of the Praja Socialist Party emerged victorious in Forbesganj. However, in the next assembly election in 1967, Mishra contested on a Congress ticket and won. He remained the Forbesganj MLA for seven terms until BJP’s Mayanand Thakur took over in 1990.
This time, the Congress has fielded Zakir Hussain Khan against Keshri. Eleven more candidates including, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Raja Raman Bhaskar, Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik’s) Akhlaqur Rahman, Samajwadi Janata Dal Democratic’s Ashok Mishra, Rashtriya Jansambhavna Party Chandan Kumar Mandal, Vanchit Samaj Party’s Devesh Kumar Thakur, Bhartiya Party (Loktantrik’s) Nasir, Apna Adhikar Party’s Madan Kumar, Republican Party Of India (Athawale’s) Ram Kumar Bhagat, The Plurals Party’s Rupesh Raj And Independents Md. Arif And Pradeep Kumar Deo are also in the poll fray.
The fate of the constituency, which witnessed a voter turnout of 62% in the 2015 polls, lies in the hands of 340,505 eligible voters, of whom 178, 972 are male, 161, 524 are female while nine belong to the third gender category. People will cast their ballots across 287 polling booths in Forbesganj.
As Bihar is set for the final phase of voting on November 7, the results of polls to the 243-seat assembly will be declared on November 10. The first phase of voting was conducted on October 28 and November 3, respectively.
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