Campaigning ends, five seats up for grabs - Hindustan Times
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Campaigning ends, five seats up for grabs

ByPress Trust of India, Patna
Apr 24, 2024 09:49 PM IST

Campaigning ends for 5 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar ahead of April 26 polls, with PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi, and other leaders addressing rallies.

Campaigning ended on Wednesday for five Lok Sabha seats in Bihar where electors will decide the fate of 50 candidates on April 26 in the second of the seven-phase parliamentary polls being held across the country.

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Leading the NDA charge, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally in Purnea, a seat which is being contested by chief minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U).

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressed his first election meeting in Bihar at Bhagalpur, a seat the party is contesting after more than two decades. The party has fielded MLA Ajeet Sharma against JD(U) MP Ajay Mandal from the seat.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge addressed rallies in Kishanganj, the lone seat the party won in Bihar in 2019, and at Katihar, where former Union minister Tariq Anwar is trying to wrest back his pocket borough from JD(U) MP Dulal Chandra Goswami.

Congress is contesting nine of the state’s 40 Lok Sabha seats, and three of these are going to polls in the second phase.

The JD(U) holds all but one of the five seats going to polls in second phase and it is the principal challenger in Kishanganj. The chief minister, who is also the party’s national president, carried out an intensive campaign in all the five Lok Sabha constituencies, and shared the stage with Union home minister and BJP leader Amit Shah in Katihar.

The longest serving chief minister of Bihar, for whom the JD(U)’s good performance in Lok Sabha polls is critical, also came out with an open letter to the people of the state urging them to help the NDA win all 40 seats in Bihar.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressed a rally in Bhagalpur where the campaign was signed off, on the final day, with an election meeting of BJP national president J P Nadda.

In Kishanganj, Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM is locked in a triangular contest with the sitting Congress MP Mohd Javed and JD(U)’s Mujahid Alam. The Hyderabad MP spent four days in the Muslim-majority constituency, canvassing for Akhtarul Iman, the AIMIM’s lone MLA in Bihar who also heads the party’s state unit.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav continued with a spirited campaign, particularly in Purnea where party candidate Bima Bharti is pitted against JD(U) MP Abhay Kushwaha but the pitch has been queered with the entry of Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, who is contesting as an Independent after being denied a Congress ticket.

Polls are also due on April 26 in Banka, where JD(U) MP Giridhari Yadav’s bid to retain the seat faces a challenge from his predecessor Jai Prakash Yadav of RJD.

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