The Bihar Post

Close fight between two major alliances as Bihar records 53 percent polling in first phase



PATNA: An estimated 53 percent polling was recorded in the four Lok Sabha constituencies of Bihar which went to polls in the first phase on Thursday as the fight remained neck-to-neck on most of the seats.

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As per reports, a maximum of 56 percent polling was recorded in Gaya, followed by 54 percent in Jamui, 52 percent in Nawada and 49.85 percent in Aurangabad.

Many say the polling has been low owing to the two prominent festivals of Hindus—Chhath and Navratra which coincide with the voting.

In Aurangabad’s Deo town where the famous Sun temple is located, thousands of Hindu devotees have assembled to offer prayers to the Sun god on Thursday.

This has probably prevented many devotees who are observing 36-hour-long fast since Wednesday stand in long queues in the sweltering heat to cast their votes, reports said.

Owing to the festivals, shopkeepers too have kept their shops opened to sell goods to the devotees and the visitors which have also seen low poll percentage.

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Earlier most of these shops would remain shut on the polling day so that their owners could participate in the democratic process but all these shops are open today, hampering the poll percentage.

The NDA faces the tough task to retain these four seats since the contest is straight on most of the seats unlike past the last 2014 LS polls when it was triangular among the NDA, RJD and the JD-U.

In Gaya, the main fight is between Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) candidate Jitan Ram Manjhi and JD-U candidate Vijay Kumar Manjhi.

Available information say Manjhi whose party is a part of the RJD-led Grand Alliance enjoys upper hand over his rival right now, banking on support of Muslim-Yadav voters as well as the resentment among BJP cadres for gifting this seat to the JD-U. Right now, Gaya is represented by the BJP in the Lok Sabha.

Again, in Aurangabad, the HAM candidate Upendra Prasad is caught in a neck-to-neck fight with sitting BJP MP Sushil Kumar Singh. Rajput voters are reported angry for denial of ticket to Satyendra Singh family but the situation could favour the HAM candidate if the backward voters unite against Rajput voters. Many say Aurangabad may spring surprise this time.

Similarly, the fight is straight between RJD candidate Vibha Devi and LJP nominee Chandan Kumar in Nawada. Devi is wife of rapist Raj Ballabh Yadav while Kumar is brother of murder convict Surajbhan Singh.

The situation is equally interesting in Jamui where sitting LJP MP Chirag Paswan is locked in a tough fight with Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) candidate Bhudeo Chaudhary. This seat too can spring surprises, observers say.

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