The second phase is significant for both camps — NDA and the Opposition alliance — to form the next government in the state.
BJP and ally JDU are contesting 46 and 43 seats, respectively, in the second phase. Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP), which recently switched over to the NDA camp, is in the running in five seats.
From the opposition camp, the RJD is contesting 56 seats while the Congress is staking claim to 24. CPIML is in the fray in 6, while CPM and CPI are eyeing 4 seats each.
The strength of the Bihar assembly is 243. In the first phase held on October 28, 71 assembly seats were covered.
The second phase will decide the fate of former chief minister Lalu Prasad’s sons – Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav.
Tejashwi Yadav, the opposition’s chief ministerial candidate, is seeking a second consecutive term from his family’s traditional stronghold Raghopur. BJP has fielded former legislator Satish Rai against Tejashwi. RJD chief Lalu Prasad represented Raghopur in 1995 and 2000, while wife and former chief minister Rabri Devi did so in 2005. However, Rai had defeated her in 2010.
Tejashwi’s elder brother, Tej Pratap Yadav, is seeking his fortunes from Hasanpur in Samastipur district, changing from Mahua, which he had won in 2015. Hasanpur has a considerable Yadav population and JDU has nominated Raj Kumar Rai from here. All eyes are also Patna Sahib from where BJP’s prominent face and minister of road transport Nand Kishore Yadav is trying to enter the assembly for a seventh consecutive time.
For the BJP, another key seat in the second phase is Madhuban, where minister Rana Randhir is contesting. RJD has fielded Madan Shah from this seat. Sharvan Kumar and Ram Sewak Singh, ministers from the JDU quota in the Nitish Kumar government, are contesting from Nalanda and Hathua, respectively. While Congress has fielded Gunjan Patel in Nalanda against Kumar, RJD’s nominee for Hathua is Rajesh Kushwaha.
In the Parsa seat of Saran district, JDU has fielded former minister Chandrika Rai, the father-in-law of Tej Pratap Yadav. RJD has nominated Chhote Lal Rai from here. The second phase is equally important for the VIP, which is contesting in five of its overall share of 11 seats.