The Bihar Post

NDA faces challenge to retain bastion as four Bihar seats go to poll in first phase tomorrow



PATNA: With barely hours left for the first phase of polling, authorities have made extensive security arrangements to conduct a free and fair election in Bihar.

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A total of four Lok Sabha seats go to poll in the first phase, which include Gaya, Aurangabad, Nawada and Jehanabad, all considered Maoists-affected.

In the last LS polls, all these four seats were won by the NDA and hence it is the prestige of the NDA which is at stake.

The NDA faces the tough task to retain these four seats since the contest is straight on most of the seats this time while in the last poll, it was triangular among the NDA, RJD and the JD-U.

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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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