Bihar 4th phase: Giriraj Singh, Kanhaiya Kumar, Ram Chandra Paswan main contestants
New Delhi, April 29: Bihar is one of the states that is voting in the fourth phase on Monday in the on-going Lok Sabha polls.
The electors will be selecting their representatives from Darbhanga, Ujiyarpur, Samastipur, Begusarai and Munger Parliamentary Constituencies.
A total of 66 Candidates including 20 Independents and three women are in the fray from these Lok sabha seats.
As per the data available, there are 87,02,313 voters in these 5 PCs, out of which 46,35,071 are males 40,67,009 females and 233 third gender voters. 8,834 Polling stations have been set up in place for smooth conduct of Polls in the state.
There is a direct fight between two alliances: the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and Grand Alliance.
While the NDA has Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Janata Dal (United)- JDU, and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), the Grand Alliance includes Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), and Vikasshil Insan Party (VIP).
There is a direct fight between the BJP and the RJD in Darbhanga. The BJP had to replace its sitting MP Kirti Azad, who has joined the Congress. BJP has given ticket to Gopaljee Thakur. Azad had also won the seat in 2009 and 1999.
Earlier, there were talks that Congress would field Azad from Darbhanga as he was interested to contest from his bastion. However, the RJD was adamant to contest and fielded its veteran leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui. The Congress had last won the seat way back in 1980.
The Ujiarpur Lok Sabha Constituency is currently held by Nityanand Rai of BJP. In the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, Nityanand Rai beat Alok Kumar Mehta of RJD by receiving 36.90 per cent of the votes cast in this constituency.
The BJP has repeated Nityanand Rai who is facing former ally of the NDA and Union Minister of State Upendra Kushwaha, whose party Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) has joined hands with the Grand Alliance this time.
This Lok Sabha seat is witnessing a tough fight between two Dalit political families. As per the seat sharing agreement, the LJP is contesting from this seat. Sitting MP and brother of Union Minister Ram Vilash Paswan, Ram Chandra Paswan, is pitted against Congress candidate Ashok Kumar, who is the son of former Union Minister Baleshwar Ram.
In 2014, Ram Chandra Paswan had defeated Ashok Kumar by a narrow margin of 6,872 votes.
This time Ashok Kumar, a former Bihar MLA and Minister, is eyeing to settle score.
On Friday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi shared stage with RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav to campaign for Ashok Kumar.
The Begusarai Lok Sabha seat will witness a triangular contest between Union Minister of State and BJP candidate Giriraj Singh, RJD candidate Tanweer Hasan and Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate Kanhaiya Kumar.
Giriraj Singh, who has been shifted to Begusarai from Nawada despite his objections, is banking upon hardline Hindutva campaign to consolidate Hindu votes to beat its rivals who are mostly either raking up development issues or communal harmony as its main plank.
In 2014, BJP candidate Dr. Bhola Singh had won the seat by defeating Tanweer Hassan.
Candidature of Kanhaiya Kumar, controversial ex-leader of Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNU), has added attraction to the seat. He hails from Begusarai.
The CPI has good presence in the area as its candidate Rajendra Prasad Singh was third in 2014 and Shatrughna Prasad Singh was runner up in 2009 elections.
This is the seat where don-turned-politicians have enjoyed hegemony.
A total of 19 candidates are in the fray from Munger parliamentary constituency, but the main fight is between JD(U) candidate Rajiv Ranjan Singh and Neelam Devi of Congress, the wife of MLA Anant Singh, who has several criminal cases registered against him.
In 2014, LJP candidate Veena Devi had defeated Rajiv Ranjan Singh as then the JD(U) was not a part of the NDA. She is wife of another Bhumihar don-turned-politician Surajbhan Singh.
Top NDA leaders, including BJP president Amit Shah, have addressed rallies asking for votes in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi have extensively campaigned in the seat.
Neelam Devi, who has the backing of Lalu Prasad-led RJD and Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP among others, is mostly seen as a proxy for her husband.