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Bihar elections: From key candidates to last year's tally, all you need to know about final phase

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 7:49 IST

The stage is set for the fifth and final round of voting for 57 seats in the Bihar Assembly polls. Voting will take place on 5 November to decide the fate of senior JD(U) minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav and RJD legislature party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui, among others.

Which are the constituencies going to polls?

The 57 constituencies include 24 in the Seemanchal region, bordering West Bengal, spread over nine districts of Madhubani, Darbhanga, Supual, Madhepura, Saharsa, Araria, Kisanganj, Purnea, and Katihar.

fifth phase

A total of 1,55,43,594 electors are eligible to vote to decide the fate of 827 candidates - including 58 women.

Except for two seats in Simri Bhaktiyarpur, polling will take place for the remaining 55 constituencies between 7 am to 5 pm, Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshmanan said. In the two Naxal-hit constituencies - Simri Bhakhtiyarpur and Mahisi in Saharsa district - the poll time has been cut short by two hours and will end at 3 pm.

Like in the previous four phases, the final phase too will see a bitter fight between the NDA and the grand alliance of the JD(U), the RJD and Congress in all 57 seats.

It's just not Grand Alliance vs NDA. Many other significant players.

This round will also be keenly watched to see if the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party of Hyderabad lawmaker Asauddin Owaisi manages to successfully launch itself in Bihar. To test the poll waters in Bihar, the AIMIM has fielded six candidates in the Seemanchal area - which has a large number of Muslim voters.

The impact of the third front, particularly the Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) of Madhepura lawmaker Pappu Yadav, would also be keenly watched in the Kosi belt. Purnea is known to be Yadav's stronghold. He has fielded four candidates.

Apart from the regular players, the Bahujan Samaj Party is fighting for the highest number of seats - a whopping 54 of the total 57.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) have also fielded candidates in many constituencies in this phase.

Who stood where in 2010 Assembly elections?

In 2010, the BJP bagged 23 out of the 57 seats that will go to polls on 5 November.

The JD(U), which fought hand-in-hand with the BJP in the last poll, bagged 20 seats. The Lalu Prasad-led RJD won 8, Congress bagged 3 and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) won 2, while an Independent candidate bagged one seat.

This time around, the BJP has fielded 38 candidates, while LJP nominees are contesting for 11 seats.

The Rashtriya Lok Samata Party of Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha has put up candidates in five constituencies while former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's party, the Hindustani Awam Morcha, has fielded three candidates.

JD(U) candidates are trying their luck in 25 seats, the RJD in 20 and Congress in 12. The NCP has fielded candidates for 18 seats.

Here are some of the key contests to watch out for.

Saba Zafar of BJP (Amour)

One of the only two Muslim candidates fielded by the BJP, Zafar is the sitting MLA from the Muslim-dominated constituency of Amour. Zafar fought as independent candidate till 2010. He was drawn into the BJP-fold by two-time Kishanganj MP Shahnawaz Hussain in the 2010 Assembly election. In 2010, Zafar defeated Congress' Abdul Jalil Mastan. The two will go head to head once again tomorrow.

Bijendra Prasad Yadav of JD(U) (Supual)

Bihar energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav, the JD(U) nominee from Supaul is seeking the votes on the promise of ensuring 24x7 electricity supply. He is up against BJP's Kishore Kumar.

RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui (Alinagar)

Siddiqui has emerged the most prominent Muslim face in the Bihar elections. A former minister, he is a veteran of the JP movement. He won his first election in 1977. Siddiqui is a close aide of Lalu Prasad Yadav, and will be fighting it out against BJP's Mishri Lal Yadav for Alinagar.

JDU's Narendra Narayan Yadav (Alamnagar)

The minister in Nitish Kumar's cabinet is locked in a tough fight against LJP's Chandan Singh.

RJD's Bhola Yadav (Bahadurpur)

This close aide of Lalu Prasad Yadav will be up against BJP's Hari Sahni. According to an Economic Times report, "Bhola Yadav is like a shadow to the ex-CM couple. His routine begins early when he reaches Prasad's official residence and he remains engaged till late night. The Maithili-speaking Yadav is a post-graduate in mathematics from Magadh University and was a teacher in a college in Fatuha, near Patna, when he met Prasad, in 1992."

With agency inputs

First published: 4 November 2015, 11:52 IST