Urging people to exercise their franchise in the thirds and the final phase of voting on October 7, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and Mahagathbandhan chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav on Saturday tweeted that Bihar is on the cusp of a change. “In Bihar, Ganga, Gandak and Kosi of change are flowing. The waves are on the rise. Make sure you vote for a golden future, all-round development, progressive Bihar, peace today,” Tejashwi wrote ahead of the polling in 78 constituencies which began at 7am.
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The fates of 1204 candidates, including the Speaker and 12 members of the state cabinet, will be decided today.
Polling will also take place for Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat where a by-election has been necessitated by the death of sitting JD(U) MP Baidyanath Mahato. Mahato’s son Sunil Kumar is contesting Congress candidate Pravesh Kumar Mishra, a journalist- turned-politician from this seat.
The Owaisi factor will be significant in the third phase as many of constituencies that are polling today fall in the Kosi-Seemanchal region where AIMIM is likely to put up a strong fight. AIMIM has fielded candidates in many of the Muslim-dominated seats here and Asaduddin Owaisi 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.
Prominent candidates of this phase include Vijay Kumar Chaudhary of JD (U),Speaker of the outgoing assembly, contesting from Sarairanjan.
JD(U) ministers in the fray are Bijendra Prasad Yadav (Supaul), Narendra Narayan Yadav (Alamnagar), Maheshwar Hazari (Kalyanpur), Ramesh Rishideo (Singheshwar), Khurshid alias Firoz Ahmed (Sikta), Lakshmeshwar Roy (Laukaha), Bima Bharti (Rupauli) and Madan Sahni (Bahadurpur).
Four ministers are in the fray from the BJP Pramod Kumar (Motihari), Suresh Sharma (Muzaffarpur), Binod Narayan Jha (Benipatti) and Krishnakumar Rishi (Banmankhi).
Besides, wife and daughter-in-law respectively of recently deceased ministers Vinod Kumar Singh (BJP) and Kapil Deo Kamat (JDU) respectively are in the fray from the late legislators’ respective seats — Pranpur and Babubarhi.
Another keenly watched candidate is Congress’s Subhashini Yadav from Bihariganj whose father, veteran socialist leader and former Union minister Sharad Yadav, had been a multiple-term MP from Madhepura under which the assembly segment falls.
(With agency inputs)
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