Patna: Polling underway for 94 seats in Bihar amid tight security. Polling was underway amid tight security arrangements for 94 constituencies in 17 districts of Bihar from 7 a.m. on Tuesday for the second phase of Assembly elections. Polling underway for 94 seats in Bihar amid tight security. Foolproof security arrangements have been made for voting as well as to ensure that social distancing norms are in place in the times of the Covid pandemic.
This phase will largely decide the fate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan) as the highest number of seats compared to the first and third phases go to polls. The first phase of voting for 71 seats was on October 28.
The Election Commission (EC) has deployed a large number of security forces comprising teams of the Bihar police and the paramilitary forces in each and every booth. The local administration has also installed makeshift check posts at the district borders.
For NDA, the BJP is contesting in 46 constituencies, including in its stronghold East and West Champaran districts where the party had managed to win 13 out of 21 seats against the formidable force of — the RJD, JDU, and the Congress in 2015.
Besides the BJP, its alliance partner, the VIP is contesting on five seats mainly in the Mithilanchal area where Mallah and Nishadh voters are in significant numbers. JD-U is contesting on 43 seats.
The second phase is equally important for the RJD which is contesting on 56 seats, the Congress on 24 seats, CPI-ML (Liberation) on six seats, and four seats each for the CPI and CPI-M.
This phase will also decide the fate of some of the heavyweights, including the RJD Chief Minister face Tejashwi Yadav from Raghopur in Vaishali district, former Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav from Hasanpur in Samastipur district, Love Sinha, son of actor turned politician Shatrughan Sinha from Bakipur in Patna district, BJP leader Nand Kishor Yadav from Patna Sahib, etc.
Overall, 1,463 candidates are in the fray of second phase election, including 1,316 males, 146 females, and one transgender.
They are testing their luck from Sheohar, Sitamadhi, Madhubani, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Vaishali, Chapra, Siwan, Begusarai, Khagaria, Nalanda, Bhagalpur, Patna, East and West Champaran districts.
Both the NDA and the Grand Alliance are fighting the election with new equations. In the 2015 Assembly election, the JD-U was the alliance partner of the RJD and the Congress party which managed to bag 30 (JD-U), 33 (RJD), and 7 (Congress) in the second phase election for 94 seats in 2015.
The equation has changed in the 2020 election after the JD-U became one of the NDA conglomerates. For the RJD, the party leaders are dependent on the Muslim-Yadav equation especially in the Mithilanchal and Tirhut regions where districts such as Darbhanga, Madhubani, Samastipur, Supaul, Siwan, Chapra, and Vaishali have a large number of people of these two communities and they are known for aggressive voting.
Besides, Mithilanchal and Tirhut regions are also known for significant numbers of upper castes and extremely backward castes (ECB). Bihar has 55 castes and sub-castes coming under the ECB and their votes are decisive.