RJD chief Lalu Prasad's green 'lantern' appeared to be standing up to Narendra Modi-induced saffron sway in seven north Bihar Lok Sabha seats for which polling was held on Wednesday in what was the fifth phase of Lok Sabha poll in the state.
The election commission confirmed 56.03% polling was recorded at the close of voting at 6 pm for seven seats, namely, Maharajganj, Saran, Hajipur, Ujiarpur, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi and Sheohar. This marked an 11.30 % rise over 44.73% polling in 2009.
Former Bihar chief minister, the RJD nominee for the high profile Saran Lok Sabha seat, declared there was no Modi wave in Bihar, only a Lalu wave.
"The RJD-led alliance will win all 40 seats in Bihar. Nitish Kumar is nowhere in the picture", said Rabri, who made his Lok Sabha poll debut on Wednesday after her husband Lalu Prasad was disqualified and unseated in saran, following his conviction in a fodder scam case.
"It is the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the 'lantern' (the party's election symbol) all the way. It is a no contest in Saran. I'll win by a larger margin than my husband", Rabri told a section of the media.
Lalu and Rabri's son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said the credit for stopping the election march of the Narendra Modi led BJP would go to his father, RJD chief and a former union railway minister.
"As he did by stopping BJP leader LK Advaniji's (Somnath to Ayodhya) rathyatra at Samastipur in Bihar in 1990, my father will again halt the Modi bandwagon", Tejashwi declared.
But Ram Vilas Paswan, chief of BJP ally and NDA constituent Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) said it was Narendra Modi's saffron all the way in this phase, with additional support that the aalliance was getting because of him.
"Even the young Yadavs of Raghopur, the assembly constituency of Rabri Devi and part of the Hajipur LS constituency, are voting for me and the NDA", claimed Paswan, who also asserted his victory margin in Hajipur this time would exceed his 4.25 lakh 'world record' margin from the epoch making 1977 Lok Sabha poll.
At 61.92%, the highest polling was recorded in Muzaffarpur, where BJP's Ajay Nishad is facing a strong challenge from RJD-backed Congress nominee Akhilesh Prasad Singh, a former union minister. Also in the fray is Vijendra Chaudhary of the JD (U).
In Saran, where Rabri Devi (RJD) is pitted against former union minister Rajiv Pratap Rugy, 56% polling had been recorded.
The votes polled was 56% at Hajipur, as well, where former union minister and NDA constituent Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan is seeking to unseat sitting JD (U) MP Ram Sunder Das, 93.
Paswan had lost to Das, also a former Bihar chief minister, in the 2009 Lok Sabha poll.
At 54%, the lowest polling had been recorded by in Sitamarhi. In Sheohar, where sitting BJP MP Rama Devi (BJP) was facing a tough contest from Samwajwadi Party nominee and former MP Lovely Anand, Anwarul Haq (RJD) and Bihar minority affairs minister Shahid Ali Khan (JD-U), the polling percentage was 55.50.
The polling percentages in other seats in this phase were: Maharajganj (53%) and Ujiarpur (56%).
Twenty seven Bihar seats had been covered in the previous four rounds of polling in the state, between April 10 and 30. The remaining six seats will go to the polls on May 12.
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