Four ministers in fray from Bihar

Final phase in state crucial for BJP to come back to power.

Patna: The final phase of polling is crucial for the BJP as four union ministers are pitted against grand alliance candidates in Bihar.

Seven of the eight seats were won by the NDA in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, five by the BJP and two by Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP which is now part of the grand alliance. One was won by the JD(U) headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, which had contested separately but now is back with NDA in Bihar.

Patna Sahib is one of the crucial seats for both NDA and the grand alliance as film star turned politician Shatrughan Sinha is locked in a fierce battle with BJP nominee and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who is contesting the Lok Sabha polls for the first time.

Patna Sahib is considered a BJP stronghold as it has five out of six MLAs in the constituency. However, political analysts are of the opinion that caste factor may also play a decisive role as both the leaders belong to upper caste Kayastha community.

In 2014 Mr Sinha had won elections by defeating Congress nominee Kunal Singh, a veteran Bhojpuri film actor by a record margin of 2,65,805 votes.

Similarly, the Patliputra seat has also become a prestigious battle for both grand alliance and the NDA as RJD Chief Lalu Yadav’s elder daughter Misa Bharti is contesting against Union minister and BJP nominee Ram Kripal Yadav.

As per an assessment, there are about 5 lakh Yadav voters in Patliputra. Upper caste Bhumihar, Rajputs and Brahmins are also in a sizeable number in the constituency.

Union Minister Ashwini Choubey known for his fiery statements is also in the fray from Buxar Lok Sabha seat. He has been pitted against RJD veteran leader Jagdanand Singh.

In the previous election, Mr. Choubey had defeated Mr. Singh by a margin of 1, 32,338 votes.

Stakes are high for the BJP in Ara as the party is locked in a neck to neck battle with left here. BJP nominee and Union minister R.K. Singh is locked in a direct fight with CPI-ML (Liberation) candidate Raju Yadav.

The left party candidate on this seat is being backed by RJD and other grand alliance partners in order to stop the division of secular, OBC and EBC votes.

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