There are 1204 candidates in the fray, including Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and 12 members of the State Cabinet in the third phase of Bihar assembly elections.
The third and final phase of Bihar Election 2020 will be held today. The voting has begun in 78 assembly constituencies on Saturday, where all eyes are on the contest between the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the opposition Grand Alliance in the state. The 78 assembly seats in the third and final phase of the state’s 243-member assembly are located in 15 districts and around 2.34 crore voters will exercise their franchise. There are 1204 candidates in the fray, including Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and 12 members of the State Cabinet. In this last phase of voting, all eyes are on Pappu Yadav and Owaisi’s region of influence.
Apart from the assembly, polling will also be held for the by-election in Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat on Saturday. The by-election is being held in this seat due to the death of JDU MP Vaidyanath Mahato. In an effort to retain its hold on this parliamentary seat, JDU has given ticket to Sunil Kumar, son of late Vaidyanath Mahato. Sunil Kumar’s main contest is against Pravesh Kumar Mishra, a Congress candidate and a journalist from politics.
Owaisi’s influence in Seemanchal region
Like Valmikinagar, out of the 78 assembly seats going to polls, a large number of seats are located in North Bihar and north of the Ganges river in the state. Many of these seats are located in the Kosi-Seemanchal region where AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi is believed to have a good influence in the NDA and the Grand Alliance battle. Hyderabad MP Owaisi’s party has fielded candidates and campaigned intensively in areas with a sizeable Muslim population.
Actually, the number of Muslim voters in Seemanchal is quite high. Araria, Kishanganj, Katihar and Purnea constitute over 55% of the population of Muslims. For the BJP, this area has been barren till now. In such a situation, Yogi Adityanath campaigned strongly in favor of BJP and NDA in these areas. In Katihar, Adityanath raised the issue of illegal infiltration and said that if NDA government is formed then this problem will be solved. At the same time, Owaisi is strongly opposing the NRC. The leaders of the Grand Alliance were constantly making statements that the NRC would not be applicable in Bihar if they form govt.
Pappu Yadav’zqs influence in Kosi region
The Kosi Seemanchal region is also considered to be under the influence of former MP Pappu Yadav, where the Yadav community has a sizeable number. Pappu Yadav’s Jan Adhikar Party is working hard to register its presence in the region and is trying to prove to the Rashtriya Janata Dal that it has the support of the Yadavs.