Bihar assembly election 2020: LJP’s Raj Kumar Shah eyes second term in Lalganj
Bihar assembly election 2020: While Congress’s Rakesh Kumar and BJP’s Sanjay Kumar Singh are set to give a tough fight to LJP’s Raj Kumar Shah, as many as 22 other candidates are also in the poll fray.Updated: Nov 01, 2020, 08:10 IST
As the Lalganj constituency goes to polls on November 3 along with 93 others in the second phase of Bihar assembly elections, Lok Janshakti Party’s (LJP’s) Raj Kumar Shah looks to retain the high profile assembly seat for a second term. Shah, who was also the vice president of LJP in Bihar for a brief period, had defeated Janata Dal United’s (JDU’s) Vijay Kumar Shukla by a margin of 20,293 votes in the 2015 assembly polls.
All eyes are now on Shah’s candidature, i.e. on the future of his party in the constituency. LJP’s win or defeat on this assembly seat is of strategic importance as Lalganj is one of the five constituencies where the party is also fighting against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Even though the LJP has decided to go solo in the state polls this time, the Chirag Paswan led-party has stuck to its pro-Narendra Modi stance and has fielded candidates mostly on seats where the JD(U) is contesting.
Lalganj, which falls under the state’s Vaishali district, was once a stronghold of the 2015 runner up Shukla alias Munna Shukla and his family, who represented the assembly seat for 15 years. He had won as an Independent in 2000 even while in jail. He was then elected in February 2005 as an LJP candidate while in October same year he won the seat as a JDU candidate. In 2010, his wife Annu Shukla won the assembly seat. This time, Vijay Kumar Shukla has enrolled as an independent candidate.
While Congress’s Rakesh Kumar and BJP’s Sanjay Kumar Singh are set to give a tough fight to Shah, as many as 22 other candidates are also in the poll fray. Others contesting for the seat include Nationalist Congress Party’s Anand Verma, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party’s Dinesh Kumar Kushawha, Satya Bahumat Party’s Azam Hussain, Rashtriya Jansambhavna Party’s Kumari Sneha, Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik’s) Dilip Thakur, Sathi Aur Aapka Faisala Party’s Mithilesh Kumar Singh Sathi, Socialist Unity Centre Of India (Communist’s) Rajendra Sharma, and Ambedkarite Party of India’s Ram Pukar Paswan.
However, no JDU leader is fighting to be elected as the Lalganj MLA this time.
Akhilesh Kumar, Kedar Kumar, Gauri Shankar Pandey, Purushottam Kumar Singh, Manju Singh, Manoj Kumar, Mahesh Kr. Pandit, Mithilesh Kumar, Rakesh Paswan, Rajan Kumar, Rajeev Kumar Choudhary, Vijay Kumar Shukla, Shailendra Kumar Kaushik and Sanjay Kumar are among the Independents who are fighting the assembly elections.
As many as 331,751 eligible voters will decide the fate of the Lalganj assembly seat that falls under the Hajipur Lok Sabha constituency. Of the total, 176,450 are male voters, 155,285 are female while 16 are third gender voters. The constituency had witnessed a voter turnout of 56.75% in the previous assembly elections.
The 243-seat Bihar assembly is going to polls in three phases. While the first phase of voting took place on October 28, the second and third phase polling is scheduled to be held on November 3 and November 7. The results of the first poll exercise during the Covid-19 pandemic will be declared on November 10.