Curtains drawn on campaign for Lok Sabha elections in BiharPTI | Patna | Updated: 17-05-2019 18:42 IST | Created: 17-05-2019 18:12 IST
Campaign for the long drawn out general elections in Bihar, spread over all the seven phases, came to a close on Friday at 6 pm, for the last lap of electioneering wherein eight Lok Sabha seats go to polls. The constituencies which go to polls on Sunday are Patna Sahib, Pataliputra, Arrah, Buxar, Sasaram, Karakat, Jehanabad and Nalanda. Seven of these were won by the NDA in 2014.
Leading the charge, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held three rallies - one each in Pataliputra, Buxar and Sasaram constituencies - where he was joined by alliance partners Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who heads the JD(U) and Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan. It was an extensive campaign by the Prime Minister who addressed altogether 10 rallies in the state where the total number of seats is 40.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who did not visit the state in the last couple of phases, held a rally in Pataliputra in support of jailed RJD supremo Lalu Prasad's eldest daughter Misa Bharti. He also held a roadshow in Patna Sahib where actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha is seeking re-election for a third consecutive term, this time as a Congress candidate.
BJP president Amit Shah held rallies in Pataliputra and Arrah where party MPs and Union ministers Ram Kripal Yadav and RK Singh, respectively, are in the fray. Shah also held a roadshow in Patna Sahib in support of Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who has been fielded to retain the seat for the party by wresting it from Shatrughan Sinha.
Sinha began his campaign nearly three weeks behind his BJP rival since he joined the Congress nearly a fortnight after the NDA came out with its list of candidates. In the last one week, he was joined by his wife Poonam, who is making her poll debut from Lucknow a seat held by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
R K Singh's principal challenger is CPI(ML) Liberation's Raju Yadav, who is being supported by the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan. The ultra-Left outfit's general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya and politburo member Kavita Krishnan were among those who campaigned in favour of Yadav. Rallies were also addressed by Rajnath Singh in Karakat and Buxar Lok Sabha seats.
Karakat is held by RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha, who was with the NDA five years ago but is now with the Mahagathbandhan. His NDA challenger is JD(U)'s Mahabali Singh, who had won the seat in 2009. Buxar is held by BJP leader and Union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, who is pitted against RJD veteran Jagadanand Singh.
An election meeting was also held in the Bihar capital by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Another seat which was won by the RLSP is Jehanabad.
The sitting MP Arun Kumar, who quit the party a couple of years ago, is in the fray as an Independent while the RLSP has given up the seat in favour of RJD, which has fielded MLA Surendra Prasad Yadav. The NDA has fielded JD(U)'s Chandreshwar Prasad Chandravanshi. Nalanda is the pocket borough of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar whose party retained the seat even in 2014 when almost the entire state was swept by the Modi wave. The JD(U) has reposed confidence in Kaushalendra Kumar, its second-term MP while the Mahagathbandhan here is represented by Hindustani Awam Morchas' Ashok Kumar Azad Chandravanshi.