Bihar Assembly Election 2020: Ministers, political heavyweights and debutants to watch out for - Hindustan Times
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Bihar Assembly Election 2020: Ministers, political heavyweights and debutants to watch out for

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni
Nov 09, 2020 07:31 PM IST

As counting of votes will be taken up on Tuesday and final results announced, these are the bellwether seats to watch out for.

Thousands of political leaders will be eagerly watching the counting of votes on Tuesday for the three-phase Bihar assembly elections, which concluded on November 7. Leaders of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which consists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Janata Dal (United) or (JDU), Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP), are facing a tough contest from candidates from the opposition coalition of the Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance. The Mahagathbandhan comprises the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress and Left parties.

A voter being screened before being allowed to vote, outside a polling station during the third phase of Bihar assembly elections. The counting of votes will take place on Tuesday and final results will be announced.(ANI)
A voter being screened before being allowed to vote, outside a polling station during the third phase of Bihar assembly elections. The counting of votes will take place on Tuesday and final results will be announced.(ANI)

As counting of votes will be taken up on Tuesday and final results announced, these are the bellwether seats to watch out for:

Keoti assembly constituency

Abdul Bari Siddiqui, a former lawmaker and minister of finance during the RJD-JD(U) coalition government, is contesting from the Keoti assembly seat as an RJD nominee. He has been challenged by the BJP’s Murari Mohan Jha. Abdul Bari became an MLA in 1977 for the first time from Bahera constituency.

Saharsa assembly constituency

The former member of Parliament Lovely Anand, who had won the Lok Sabha polls from Vaishali in 1994, had joined the Congress in January 2019. But her electoral luck had proved elusive during last year’s parliamentary polls. She has switched to the RJD and is reaping a dual benefit. She has been nominated on an RJD ticket from the Saharsa assembly seat against BJP’s Alok Ranjan Jha who represented the constituency from 2010 to 2015.

Mokama assembly constituency

The Mokama Vidhan Sabha Constituency is a stronghold of Anant Kumar Singh, a former Janata Dal(United) member and close aide of Nitish Kumar. Singh has been winning from this seat since 2005 and has a strong control on this seat. In 2005 and 2010, Anant Singh was with the JD(U). In 2020, Anant Singh is contesting on an RJD ticket against JD(U)’s Rajiv Lochan Narayan Singh and LJP’s Suresh Singh Nishad.

Patna Sahib assembly constituency

Nand Kishore Yadav, the state’s road construction minister, is contesting from the Patna Sahib seat as a BJP candidate. Praveen Kushwaha of the Congress is challenging his state assembly membership. Patna Sahib is a BJP bastion. Nand Kishore Yadav has been representing the BJP in the state assembly since 1995.

Gaya Town assembly constituency

Gaya Town has also been a stronghold of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). From the 1990s, the BJP’s Prem Kumar has been winning the Vidhan Sabha elections from this seat. Looking at his past success, the BJP has once again decided to field Kumar from Gaya Town. This year, Kumar will be up against Grand Alliance’s Akhauri Onkar Nath. Nath has been fielded by Congress instead of Mohan Shrivastava, who is facing allegations of rape.

Click here for the complete coverage of Bihar assembly elections 2020.

Benipatti assembly constituency

In the Bihar assembly elections, Bhawana Jha of Congress and Vinod Narayan Jha of the BJP will contest the polls from Benipatti constituency. In the 2015 Bihar Assembly Election, the Benipatti constituency was won by Bhawana Jha and Jha of the BJP was the runner-up.

Muzaffarpur assembly constituency

The seat is currently represented by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) Suresh Kumar Sharma. Sharma defeated Bijendra Chaudhury of the JD(U) as he won from Muzaffarpur by a huge margin of 29,739 votes in 2015. This year as well, both the leaders are in a direct battle for Muzaffarpur.

Jamui assembly constituency

RJD leader and incumbent Vijay Prakash and newcomer Shreyasi Singh of the BJP are facing each other in Jamui. This is the first time that the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has pitted a woman candidate from Jamui. Shreyasi, who is the daughter of late Digvijay Singh, is a professional shooter and has represented India in Commonwealth Games winning gold and silver medals. During the 2015 assembly elections, the RJD’s Vijay Prakash defeated the BJP by a margin of 8,249 votes. He is the younger son of former Union minister of state for water resources and senior RJD leader Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav.

Sarairanjan assembly constituency

Speaker of state assembly Vijay Kumar Choudhary is contesting from the Sarairanjan seat in Samastipur as a Janata Dal(United) nominee. He is the current MLA from the constituency. Choudhary is pitted against Arvind Kumar Sahni of the RJD. Choudhary is a five-term MLA from Sarairanjan and considered a confidant of CM Nitish Kumar.

Read more | A look at Nitish Kumar’s political career through the years

Parsa assembly constituency

Chandrika Rai, a former minister and the father-in-law of Lalu Yadav’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav, is contesting from the Parsa assembly seat in Saran on a JD(U) ticket. He is pitted against Chote Lal Rai of the RJD. Chandrika Rai is a six-term MLA from Parsa. He was first elected to the state assembly in 1985 on a Congress ticket.

Cheria Bariyarpur constituency

Manju Verma, a former minister in the Nitish Kumar government, is contesting from the Cheria Bariyarpur seat in Begusarai. Rajvanshi Mahto of the RJD is challenging her in the constituency. Manju Verma is a two-term MLA from Cheria Bariyarpur and is in the fray for a third consecutive term.

Jehanabad assembly constituency

Jehanabad is a Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-held constituency, with the party’s Kumar Krishna Mohan, also known as Suday Yadav, being the sitting MLA. He won this seat in a by-poll in 2018, which was necessitated after the death of Mundrika Singh Yadav, also of the RJD. Yadav had won this seat in the 2015 assembly polls. This time, the seat will witness a straight fight between the RJD and its arch-rival, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal(United). While the RJD has fielded incumbent MLA Kumar Krishna Mohan, the JD(U) has chosen to go with Bihar education minister Krishna Nandan Prasad Verma.

Kahalgaon assembly constituency

Sadanand Singh of the Congress party is the present MLA from Kahalgaon. He is a nine-term MLA who won the seat in the last assembly election, defeating Niraj Kumar Mandal of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) by 21,220 votes. This time around, the Congress has fielded Sadanand Singh’s son Shubhanand Mukesh from Kahalgaon. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gave the ticket to Pawan Kumar Yadav.

Read more | Bihar Assembly Election 2020: Is state ready for a young CM? Tomorrow’s counting to decide

Bihariganj assembly constituency

In her maiden electoral plunge, Subhashini Raj Rao of Congress is pitted against two-time Janata Dal (United) MLA Niranjan Mehta, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) candidate Vijay Kumar Singh and Prabhash Kumar of Janadhikar Party (JAP) in Bihariganj. It is certainly not an easy contest for Subhashini, who is trying to further her father Sharad Yadav’s political legacy.

Madhepura assembly constituency

The JD(U) has fielded its candidate Nikhil Mandal, the grandson of former chief minister and chairman of Mandal Commission recommendations report on job reservations, BP Mandal. From the Grand Alliance, the RJD has again given a chance to Chandra Shekhar to defend the seat from Madhepura. Another prominent candidate from the seat is Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, who is contesting from the Jan Adhikar Party-Loktantrik (JAP-L). Pappu Yadav, a former MP and muscleman politician is a prominent Yadav face in the region, thus being a direct threat to JD(U) and RJD candidates.

Simri Bakhtiyarpur assembly constituency

Mukesh Sahni, the founder of Vikassheel Insaan Party, is pitted against LJP’s Sanjay Kumar Singh and RJD’s Yusuf Salahuddin from this constituency. Saini’s company had created the stage for Bollywood film Devdas.

Dinara assembly constituency

JD(U)’s Jai Kumar Singh has been the sitting MLA from Dinara since 2010. In the 2015 assembly polls, Singh had defeated the now-former state BJP vice president Rajendra Singh. This seat will once again witness a battle between Jai Kumar Singh and Rajendra Singh. However, this time, Rajendra Singh will contest as a Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) candidate after he joined the party on being denied ticket by the BJP. Meanwhile, the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-led Mahagathbandhan has fielded RJD’s Vijay Mandal as its candidate.

Sasaram assembly constituency

Incumbent MLA Ashok Kumar, who won the Sasaram seat in 2015 on an RJD ticket, is contesting from the seat on a JD(U) ticket this time against his former party’s Vijay Gupta and the LJP’s Rameshwar Chaurasiya. In 2015, the RJD’s Asok Kumar defeated the BJP’s Jawahar Prasad by a margin of 11.3 per cent. This time, the seat, which has been a BJP stronghold for long, has gone to the JD(U) upsetting the national party’s leaders who were eyeing the ticket from this seat.

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