Bihar polls 2020: Is JD(U) strongman heading for 6th consecutive term in Supaul?

The political equation in Bihar’s Supaul assembly constituency has primarily been a one-man show since 1990. Janata Dal (United)’s Bijendra Prasad Yadav has been the undisputed champion in the constituency’s political arena for three decades now and is in the race for his sixth consecutive term this year.

Unseating Yadav in his bastion would be a herculean task for the opposition grand alliance (Mahagathbandhan). While Congress’ Minnatullah Rahmani would fight for Supaul as the grand alliance candidate, Prabhash Chandra Mandal from Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) will give the contest a triangular dimension.

In 2015, Yadav had sealed the show by defeating BJP’s Kishor Kumar by 37,397 votes, bagging 54.69 per cent of the vote share. Before that, the RJD had put up a tough fight against Yadav for three terms, securing the runner-up spot in 2000, 2005 and 2010, respectively.

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As per the estimates of the 2011 census, nearly 85 per cent of the total population of 435,154 in Supaul is rural. The ratio between the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) is 13.14 and 0.31, respectively. Over 2.8 lakh electorates will exercise their franchise across 295 polling stations in Supaul on November 7 under the third and final phase of Bihar assembly polls. Seventy-seven other constituencies will also go to polls in the third phase on Saturday. The results will be announced after the counting of votes takes place on November 10.

Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD and chief minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) fought the last elections in an alliance, however, Kumar later severed ties with the RJD to again join the NDA. The RJD had bagged 80 of total 243 seats in 2015, and Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) finished second with 71 seats. The BJP secured 53 seats while the Congress could win 23.

During this year’s assembly polls, the BJP and the JD(U) remain in partnership while the Congress has joined hands with the RJD and three other Left parties as part of the grand alliance. While Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has opted to go alone, the GDSF is an alternative front comprising Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party, RLSP and Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM.

The first two phases of Bihar polls were held on October 28 and November 3, respectively.

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