Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in a conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election campaign. (ANI Photo)(ANI)
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in a conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election campaign. (ANI Photo)(ANI)

Bihar Assembly Election 2020: Key constituencies and their candidates

Bihar, the first state to hold assembly elections amid the coronavirus pandemic, will witness the first phase of polling on October 28. Polling in second and third phases will take place on November 3 and November 7 respectively.
By hindustantimes.com | Kaleem Ullah Fasihi | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 25, 2020 08:30 PM IST

Bihar, the first state to hold assembly elections amid the coronavirus pandemic, will witness the first phase of polling on October 28. The Election Commission had announced the poll schedule for Bihar assembly elections on September 25. Polling in second and third phases will take place on November 3 and November 7 respectively. While voting will be held on 71 seats in the first phase, 94 seats in second phase and 78 seats will undergo polling in last phase. The results of the Bihar assembly election will be declared on November 10.

Here are high-profile seats, which that will draw attention from across the country during the Bihar assembly elections:

1. Tejaswi Yadav, the former deputy chief minister of the state, is contesting from the Raghopur seat. In 2015, Tejaswi defeated the then Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Satish Kumar from the constituency. The seat is considered as the Rashtriya Janta Dal’s stronghold. Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabdi Devi both represented the constituency in the state assembly from 1995 to 2010. In 2010, Rabdi Devi lost the seat to the then Janta Dal (U) leader Satish Kumar. Satish Kumar has now joined BJP after the JD(U) denied him ticket from Raghopur. In 2015, the 30-year-old Yadav scion had defeated Satish Kumar.

2. Hasanpur assembly seat will have another Yadav family member fighting the Bihar assembly elections. Tej Pratap, a sitting MLA from Mahua assembly in Vaisali district, has changed the constituency to Hasanpur this time. Yadavs and Muslims are in majority in the constituency. Tej Pratap will face Janata Dal (United) sitting MLA Raj Kumar Ray, who had in 2015 defeated Binod Choudhary of BLSP.

3. Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) chief and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, a friend-turned-foe-turned-friend of chief minister Nitish Kumar, is contesting from the Imamganj seat. HAM(S) is one of the allies of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). In 2015, Manjhi won from the Imamgarh seat as an Independent candidate and defeated then JD(U) leader Uday Narayan Choudhary. Now, Choudhary has left the JD(U) for the RJD. The RJD has pitted former assembly speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary against the former chief minister Manjhi. Choudhary has represented the constituency thrice from 2000 to 2015.

4. Bankipur constituency is one of the high-profile seats in Bihar. Nitin Nabin is taking on former BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha’s son Luv Sinha on a Congress ticket and Pushpam Priya Chaudhary of newly-formed Plurals Party. The BJP’s Nitin Nabin has held the Bankipur legislative assembly seat since 2006. Before Nitin, his father Nabin Kishor Prasad Sinha represented the BJP in the constituency. Pushpam Priya is the chief ministerial candidate for her party. In 2015, Nitin Nabin had defeated Congress’ Ashish Kumar by 39,767 votes.

5. From the Jale constituency, Maskoor Usmani is contesting on a Congress ticket. Usmani, the former Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union president, is known for protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. He also drew attention in the Jinnah portrait row in Aligarh in 2018. Congress has never won the seat since 1995. Usmani is pitted against the BJP’s sitting MLA, Jeevesh Kumar.

6. Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, the former heavyweight MP from Madhepura and chief of Jan Adhikar Party-Loktantrik (JAP-L) is contesting from the Madhepura assembly seat. He is pitted against the RJD’s Chandrashekhar, a sitting MLA, and the JD(U) leader Nikhil Mandal. In May 2015, Pappu Yadav was suspended from the RJD.

7. 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.

8. Suhasini Yadav, the daughter of a socialist veteran and chief of Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) Sharad Yadav, is contesting from the Bijariganj assembly seat in Madhepura district on a Congress ticket. She is taking on Niranjan Kumar Mehta of the JD(U). In the 2015 Bihar assembly election, Mehta defeated BJP leader Ravindra Charan from the same seat.

9. Shravan Kumar, the parliamentary affairs and rural development minister in the Nitish Kumar government, is contesting from Nalanda to seek re-election as a JD(U) candidate. He is pitted against Gunjan Patel of the Congress.

10. Manju Verma, a former minister in 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 will be in the fray for a third consecutive term.

11. Abdul Bari Siddiqui, a former MP 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.

12. Krishnandan Prasad Verma, the education minister in the state government, is contesting from the Jehanabad assembly seat. He is pitted against Kumar Krishna Mohan alias Suday Yadav of the RJD. Suday Yadav won the by-poll after his father Mundrika Singh’s death in 2017.

13. Shreyasi Singh, a national shooter and the daughter of former Union minister Digvijay Singh, is contesting from the Jamui assembly seat on a BJP ticket. She is challenging sitting MLA Vijay Prakash of the RJD. The late Digvijay Singh was a three-term MLA from Jamui constituency.

14. 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.

15. Sandeep Saurav, a former JNU student leader, is contesting from the Paliganj assembly seat as CPI-ML (Liberation) nominee. He is pitted against Jay Vardhan Yadav, a sitting MLA, from the JD(U).

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

17. Anant Singh, a criminal-turned-politician and sitting Mokama MLA, is once again contesting from the Mokama assembly seat on RJD ticket. Rajiv Lochan Narayan of the Janata Dal (United) is challenging him in the constituency. In 2015, Anant Singh won the assembly election from the constituency as an Independent candidate. Before that, he was a member of the JD(U).

18. Lovely Anand, a former MP and the wife of strongman Anand Mohan, is contesting from the Saharsa assembly seat as an RJD candidate. She is pitted against Alok Ranjan Jha of the BJP.

19. Divya Prakash, daughter of former Union minister Jay Prakash Yadav, is contesting from the Tarapur assembly as an RJD candidate. She is pitted against Mewa Lal Choudhary of the JD(U).

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