Nitish led-NDA and Tejashwi-led Mahagathbandhan have locked their horns for the third phase of Bihar assembly polls. A total of 1,207 candidates are there in the fray for the final phase that features 78 seats across 15 districts.
According to the ADR report, nearly 31 percent of the candidates contesting in the 78 constituencies in the third phase of Bihar assembly elections have criminal cases pending against them. Not only this, 30 percent of them have assets worth Rs 1crore or more.
For both the NDA and Grand Alliance stakes are high in the final phase of polls on seats consisting of Seemanchal, Kosi, and Mithila areas where votes of Muslims, Yadavs largely decide the fate of candidates.
Among the 78 seats going to poll, most seats are from the Seemanchal region which includes the districts of Araria, Katihar, and Kishenganj. This region has around 30 percent Muslim population which is almost twice the state average.
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Among the prominent candidates contesting in this phase is Speaker of the outgoing assembly Vijay Kumar Chaudhary of JDU, Bijendra Prasad Yadav (Supaul), Narendra Narayan Yadav (Alamnagar), Maheshwar Hazari (Kalyanpur), Ramesh Rishideo (Singheshwar), Khurshid alias Firoz Ahmed (Sikta), Lakshmeshwar Roy (Laukaha), Bima Bharti (Rupali) and Madan Sahni (Bahadurpur).
Key Assembly seats
Warisnagar – The sitting JD(U) Ashok Kumar is contesting in a triangular battle. LJP has fielded formidable Urmila Sinha wife of Gajendra Singh, former minister. Phool Babu Singh is looking optimistic about his win with RJD’s support.
Sarairanjan – Sitting JD(U) candidate and speaker of the Vidhan Sabha Vijay Kumar Chaudhary is pitted against Arvind Sahni of RJD. In the 2015 Bihar elections, Vijay Kumar Choudhary of the JDU.
Samastipur – Sitting RJD MLA Md Akhtarul Islam Shahin is facing Ashwamedh Devi of JD(U). LJP candidate Mahendra Pradhan is also contesting from this seat. Samastipur has a large chunk of migrant workers that have come back due to the lockdown. Their votes will play a crucial role in the third phase.
The voter turnout for the first phase of Bihar polls was 55.68 percent. Whereas, in the second phase, which saw polling on 94 seats, the voter turnout was around 55.70.