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Polling begins in eight Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar amid tight security | Patna News

PATNA: Voting began for eight Lok Sabha seats in Bihar amid tight security on Saturday morning, an official from the office of the state’s chief electoral officer (CEO) said.
The polling began at 7 am in Valmikinagar, Pashchim Champaran, Purvi Champaran, Sheohar, Siwan, Gopalganj, Maharajganj and Vaishali constituencies. It would continue till 6 pm, he said.
Over 1.49 crore voters will decide the electoral fate of 86 candidates in this phase in the state, the official said.
There are 10 candidates in the fray in Valmikinagar, eight in Paschim Champaran, 12 each in Purvi Champaran and Sheohar, 15 in Vaishali, 11 in Gopalganj, 13 in Siwan and five in Maharajganj.
Among the 1,49,32,165 electors in the eight constituencies, there are 78,23,793 men, 71,07,944 women and 428 third gender. Interestingly, there are 3,014 electorate in 100+ age group in this phase.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) is contesting four seats, including Sheohar, which was won by the BJP in 2019 general elections. Other NDA partners – BJP is contesting three seats and LJP (Ram Vilas) – one seat in this round of elections. On the other hand, RJD has fielded four, Congress two and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) two candidates from the opposition INDIA bloc in the sixth phase.
Prominent among those whose fate will be sealed in the penultimate phase of Lok Sabha elections are former Union minister Radha Mohan Singh, former Bihar speaker Awadh Bihari Choudhary, former state BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal, Janardan Singh Sigriwal, Hena Shahab, Lovely Anand, and LJP (RV) candidate Veena Devi.
While seven of the eight seats going to polls on Saturday is likely to see direct contests between NDA and INDIA bloc nominees, there would be a triangular fight in Siwan where late Shahabuddin’s wife Hena Shahab has entered the poll fray as an Independent. She will be up against JD(U)’s Vijaylaxmi Kushwaha and RJD’s Awadh Bihari Choudhary.
While experts cited multiple factors such as urban voter apathy, heatwave, anti-incumbency, migration, and lengthy voting process for low turnouts in the first five phases of elections in Bihar, political parties are hopeful that the scene is likely to change for the better on Saturday with the improvement in weather conditions and massive electors’ awareness drive launched by the respective district administration.
BJP’s Radha Mohan Singh, 74, is eyeing his seventh win from Purvi Champaran. He is pitted against VIP’s Rajesh Kumar, a former MLA, this time. Though overcoming anti-incumbency is a major challenge for Singh, many in the constituency would still vote for him just to ensure the return of Narendra Modi as PM. Govt’s failure to revive the closed sugar mill and open a medical college in the constituency has not gone down well with the many voters. INDIA bloc’s Rajesh Kumar, on the other hand, is banking on Muslim, Yadav, Kushwaha and Mallah votes.
In Maharajganj, Sigriwal is pitted against Congress’s Akash Kumar Singh, son of state Congress chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh. While Sigriwal is eyeing to score a hat-trick this time, Singh, then an RLSP candidate, had lost to BJP’s Radha Mohan Singh in Purvi Champaran constituency in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. This time, there is a direct contest between Sigriwal and Singh in Maharajganj.

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