Polling begins for five Lok Sabha seats in Bihar

The total number of seats in the state is 40, with the RJD contesting 26 of them

The district election officer's family are the first to vote from Madhepura, Bihar, in the third phase (photo courtesy @CEOBihar/X)
The district election officer's family are the first to vote from Madhepura, Bihar, in the third phase (photo courtesy @CEOBihar/X)


Voting started at 7 a.m. in Araria, Jhanjharpur, Supaul, Madhepura and Khagaria, all currently held by NDA MPs.

Over 98 lakh voters will decide the electoral fate of 54 candidates in these five seats.

The BJP holds Araria, where sitting MP Pradeep Singh's main challenger is the RJD's Shahnawaz, whose late father Taslimuddin, a former union minister, wrested the constituency away from the saffron party in 2014, surmounting the 'Modi wave'.

The RJD is also locked in straight battles with the JD(U) in Madhepura and Supaul.

In Madhepura — which RJD chief Lalu Prasad himself represented twice —JD(U) MP Dinesh Chandra Yadav is facing Kumar Chandradeep, son of the late Ramendra Kumar Yadav, who was an MP in both houses of Parliament.

In Supaul, the RJD has counterintuitively fielded Chandrahas Choupal, its MLA from one of the two reserved assembly segments falling in this constituency.

The Jhanjharpur seat sees a bid from the Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP), headed by former state minister Mukesh Sahni, who only recently joined the Mahagathbandhan. The VIP get three seats from the RJD's quota of 26, in a state where the total number is 40.

In Khagaria, the contest is primarily between two debutants. Sitting MP Choudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser, who won the seat twice on the trot for the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of the late Ram Vilas Paswan, has been denied a ticket by the latter's son Chirag Paswan.

Chirag, whose party is now known as LJP (Ram Vilas), has fielded his confidant Rajesh Verma, prompting Kaiser to switch over to the RJD. Kaiser's son Yusuf Salahuddin is the RJD MLA from Simri Bakhtiyarpur, which falls under Khagaria.

Sympathy votes might well favour Kaiser, who is also a former state Congress president, and in turn boost the prospects of CPI(M) candidate and ally Sanjay Kumar Kushwaha here.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines