The political battleground of Bihar is all decked up, with the official announcement of Bihar assembly elections 2015. The assembly polls will take place in five phases on Oct 12, Oct 16, Oct 28, Nov 1 and Nov 5. The counting of votes will take place on Nov 8, Sunday.
Major political parties are vying for the power in Bihar. The ruling JD(U) under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has formed a pre-poll alliance with his once foe-turned-friend Lalu Prasad Yadav, the RJD chief and with the battered Congress.
Meanwhile, his former loyalist, Jitan Ram Manjhi has turned out to be his biggest distractor, as he has plunged into the war of power by floating his own political outfit Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM). He has tied up with the BJP, who has also got the support of Ram Vilas Paswan led-Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP).
In the 2010 Bihar assembly polls, the then BJP-JD-U alliance had won 206 seats. Although, BJP has not formally announced its chief ministerial candidates, let us take a look at some of the popular faces of BJP in Bihar, who may emerge as the next CM of Bihar, if BJP clinches victory.
Sushil Kumar Modi
63-year-old senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi belongs to backward and crucial Vaishya community, that is 6% of the state's large population. He is considered as the front-runner for the coveted post.
The seasoned politician, Modi has served as Bihar's deputy chief minister in the NDA-led government from 2008 to 2013.
He has been the national vice president of the BJP.
MP from Nawada consituency and a former minister in Nitish Kumar's cabinet, BJP leader Giriraj Singh is known for his controversial remarks.
Off late, he has emerged as one of the popular leaders of BJP in Bihar. He belongs to Bhumihar Brahmin Ayachak community, from Barahiya town of Lakhisarai district.
In Aug 2015, he had written an open letter to the people of Bihar in which he had said "for the BJP, Bihar is more important rather than being in power."
69-year-old actor-turned-politician, Shatrughan Sinha, is undoubtedly one of the most popular faces and a star campaigner of the BJP in Bihar.
The Rajya Sabha MP, Sinha, is known for praising BJP detractors in front of media persons.
In the past, he has showered praises on Bihar CM Nitish Kumar by calling him a 'guardian of the state' and AAP chief & Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
There have been rumours that Sinha may quit the party, but he has always maintained that he is BJP's committed soldier and he has never crossed 'laksman rekha' of the party.
In Aug 2015, he recommended LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan's name for the CM post.
Shotgun joined the BJP in 1984 at the height of his film career and when the saffron party had only two MPs.
'Bihari babu', who was born into a Kayastha family in Patna, is an alumnus of FTII, Pune.
Rajiv Pratap Rudy
53-year-old Rajiv Pratap Rudy is an MP from Saran Lok Sabha constituency and MoS for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in the Modi government.
Rudy, the General Secretary of the BJP, also holds commercial pilot's license.
Rudy is also the minister of state for parliamentary affairs and is a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's core team.
Rudy has assets worth Rs 6.3 crores in his name.
He hails from a Rajput family and was a lecturer before entering into politics.
Ravi Shankar Prasad
61-year-old Ravi Shankar Prasad represents Bihar as a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha. He is the Communications and Information Technology Minister in the Modi government.
Prasad has already said that he is nowhere in the CM race. He neither wishes to be Chief Minister of the state nor have any interest in it."
After 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Prasad, one of the most articulate BJP leaders and a familiar face in TV debates, returned to the union cabinet with a bagful of experience having been in charge of various portfolios.
Prasad began his political career as a fiery student leader in Patna University under the leadership of Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Born in an upper caste Kayastha family on August 30, 1954, Ravishankar did his graduation and obtained masters in Political Science and LLB degree from Patna University.
Syed Shahnawaz Hussain
46-year-old Syed Shahnawaz Hussain is often referred to as 'The Original Youth leader' and is the national spokesperson of the BJP.
On Wednesday, Sept 9, Hussain said the EC's announcement was virtually an announcement of the saffron party coming to power.
Hussain is one of the prominent Muslim faces of the BJP.
44-year-old popular Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari is a BJP MP from north east Delhi.
To give more strength to its election campaign, BJP has launched a song, ‘Ek baar BJP', that has been recorded by the start campaigner Manoj Tiwari.
On Oct 3, 2013, Tiwari formally joined the BJP.
Tiwari was born on Feb 1, 1971 in Atarwalia, a small village in Kaimur district of Bihar.