JD(U) aims to better 2019 tally in phase 2 of Lok Sabha polls - Hindustan Times
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JD(U) aims to better 2019 tally in phase 2 of Lok Sabha polls

Apr 25, 2024 10:03 AM IST

The BJP-led NDA, taking into account Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s secular image, gave the JD(U) all five seats to contest, given the fact that Seemanchal is a Muslim-dominated area

Janata Dal-United (JD-U), an ally of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will be looking to better its 2019 Lok Sabha polls performance as five constituencies mostly in Seemanchal area, comprising Kishanganj, Katihar, Purnia, Bhagalpur and Banka, go to polls in the second phase of the general election on April 26 across the state’s 40 seats.

Votingwill take place from 7am to 6pm in all five parliamentary constituencies. (Janata Dal (United) | Official X account)
Votingwill take place from 7am to 6pm in all five parliamentary constituencies. (Janata Dal (United) | Official X account)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA, taking into account Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s secular image, gave the JD(U) all five seats to contest, given the fact that Seemanchal is a Muslim-dominated area.

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Purnia has emerged as the constituency to watch out for in this phase, as former MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav will be contesting as an independent candidate.

Yadav had on March 20 merged his Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) with the Congress in anticipation of getting a Congress ticket from Purnia. However, Purnia went to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which allotted its symbol to JD(U) turncoat Bima Bharti, in the March 30 seat-sharing pact of the Mahagathbandhan, a part of the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc.

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Bharti, former MLA from Rupauli assembly constituency in Bihar’s Purnia district, resigned from the primary membership of the JD(U) and joined the RJD in March.

Barring Kishanganj, where it lost last time, the JD(U) has given tickets to its MPs Santosh Kumar from Purnia, Dulalchand Goswami (Katihar), Ajay Kumar Mandal (Bhagalpur) and Girdhari Yadav from Banka.

Barring Purnia, which has a triangular contest, the NDA is in direct contest with INDIA bloc, with the Congress contesting three seats (Md Javed in Kishanganj, Tariq Anwar in Katihar and Ajit Sharma in Bhagalpur), and the RJD two (Bima Bharti in Purnia and Jai Prakash Yadav in Banka).

The Mahagathbandhan has fielded its lone MP Md Javed of the Congress who is in a direct fight with Mujahid Alam of the JD(U) in Kishanganj.

The Congress had won the Kishanganj seat last two times in 2014 (Asrarul Haque Qasmi) and in 2019. Two-time MP in 2014 and 2019 Santosh Kumar of the JD(U) is pitted against RJD’s Bharti in Purnia, where independent candidate Pappu Yadav is trying to emerge victorious against JD(U) and RJD.

In Katihar, JD(U)’s Dulalchand Goswami will contest with former MP Tariq Anwar of the Congress who won from the constituency in 2014.

In Banka, Girdhari Yadav of the JD(U) has a contest on hands against former Union minister Jai Prakash Yadav of the RJD who won from the constituency in 2014. In Bhagalpur, Ajay Kumar Mandal of the JD(U) takes on Ajit Sharma of the Congress.

RJD’s Shailesh Kumar Mandal won the Bhagalpur seat in 2014.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with defence minister Rajnath Singh and BJP national president JP Nadda have campaigned in Purnia (April 16), Banka (April 14) and Bhagalpur (April 24) respectively to ensure NDA’s victory.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi campaigned in Bhagalpur on April 20.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge addressed twin rallies on April 19 in Kishanganj, the lone seat the party secured 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.

A total of 86 candidates had filed their nominations in the second phase, with 15 in Kishanganj, 11 in Purnia, 20 in Katihar, 21 in Bhagalpur and 19 in Banka. However, 50 candidates, including three women, stood the scrutiny of nomination papers, leaving 12 candidates each in fray in Kishanganj and Bhagalpur, 10 in Banka, nine in Katihar and seven in Purnia.

Voting will take place from 7am to 6pm in all five parliamentary constituencies, except the assembly segments of Katoria and Belhar of Banka parliamentary constituency, where polling will end two hours early at 4pm due to Maoist insurgency in the area.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Ruchir writes on health, aviation, power and myriad other issues. An ex-TOI, he has worked both on Desk and in reporting. He over 25 years of broadcast and print journalism experience in Assam, Jharkhand & Bihar.

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