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Debutants clash with seasoned veterans in Bihar’s riveting phase III showdown

The challenge for the NDA is to secure the seats won in the previous general elections, when candidates rode the wave of Modi’s popularity.

EVMPATNA: The third phase of Lok Sabha elections in Bihar promises a compelling showdown between political newcomers and seasoned veterans. In this phase, all five seats—Madhepura, Supaul, Khagaria, Araria and Jhanjharpur—are up for grabs and feature a total of 54 contestants.

However, the main battle lines are drawn between the NDA allies—BJP and JD(U)—and the Mahaghatbandan allies: RJD and Congress, which are also part of the INDIA bloc.

Notably, the NDA had clinched all five seats in the 2019 general elections, with four going to JD(U) and a solitary seat going to the BJP’s kitty.

However, the current scenario presents a different landscape and retaining their seats will not be a straightforward task for the sitting MPs.

The challenge for the ruling alliance, both at the Centre and in the state, is to secure the seats won in the previous general elections when candidates rode the wave of Modi’s popularity.

According to the state chief electoral office, the JD(U) is contesting in three seats, while the BJP and Chirag Paswan’s LJP (Ram Vilas) are contesting one seat each. On the other hand, the RJD is contesting three seats, while the CPI(M) and Mukesh Sahani-led Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) are contesting one seat each. The Bahujan Samaj Party has fielded candidates in all five seats, while 19 Independent candidates will also be trying their luck.

The NDA has fielded incumbent JD(U) MP Dinesh Chandra Yadav from Madhepura. He is pitted against RJD’s Kumar Chandradeep, an English teacher, who is making his Lok Sabha poll debut.

Likewise, in the Supaul constituency, sitting JD(U) MP Dilkeshwar Kamait faces a challenge from Chandrahas Chaupal, the RJD MLA from Singheshwar assembly constituency. Kamait, a retired railway officer, seeks reelection, while Chaupal is vying for his maiden entry into parliament.

In Khagaria, the NDA has put forward Rajesh Verma of LJP (Ram Vilas) as its candidate, while the CPI(M), an ally of the Mahaghatbandan, has nominated Sanjay Kumar. Both Verma and Kumar are contesting Lok Sabha polls for the first time.

In Jhanjharpur, the NDA has nominated incumbent JD(U) MP Ramprit Mandal. He faces competition from former MLC Suman Mahaseth, representing VIP, which is part of the opposition’s Mahaghatbandan.

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