Patna, November 2: The stage is set for the second and, arguably, the most crucial of the three phases of Bihar assembly elections in which over 2.85 crore voters will decide the fate of nearly 1,500 candidates on Tuesday.
Voting will take place on November 3 in 94 Assembly segments, more than a third of the 243-strong assembly spread across 17 districts, all of which but three — Patna, Bhagalpur and Nalanda — are situated north of the Ganges.
Notable among the candidates is the RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, the Opposition Grand Alliance’s Chief Ministerial candidate, who has been aggressively trying to cash in on the anti-incumbency factor against the Nitish Kumar government.
The 31-year-old is seeking re-election from Raghopur in Vaishali district which he had wrested back for his party from the BJP’s Satish Kumar in 2015. The BJP leader had defeated Yadav’s mother Rabri Devi, a former chief minister, in 2010.
The BJP has retained its trust in Satish Kumar, hoping that the giant killer will be able to do a repeat of 2010 when, like this time, JD(U) president and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was with the NDA.
Tejashwi’s elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav is trying his luck from Hasanpur in Samastipur district, shifting his base from Mahua in Vaishali.
There were said to be fears in the RJD camp that Tej Pratap’s bid to retain Mahua could be challenged by the NDA through his estranged wife Aishwarya as its trump card.
She is already taking an active part in the campaign for her father Chandrika Roy in Parsa, which he has represented a number of times and is seeking to retain on a JD(U) ticket this time.
All the four assembly segments in the capital city – Patna Sahib, Kumhrar, Bankipur and Digha – are also going to polls in the second phase.
According to the Election Commission, votes will be cast at a total of 41,362 polling stations. (PTI)