Campaigning ends for sixth phase of LS polls to eight seats in Bihar

Patna, May 23 (PTI) Campaigning ended on Thursday for eight seats in Bihar where nearly 1.5 crore voters will decide the electoral fate of 86 candidates in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections.

Voting will take place in Valmiki Nagar, Pashchim Champaran, Purbi Champaran, Sheohar, Siwan, Maharajganj, Vaishali and Gopalganj Lok Sabha seats in the penultimate phase on Saturday.

Leading the NDA charge, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held rallies in Purbi Champaran and Maharajganj constituencies, represented by BJP’s Radha Mohan Singh and Janardan Singh Sigriwal respectively.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed an election meeting for former state BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal, who seeks to retain his Pashchim Champaran seat.

BJP president J P Nadda held a rally in adjoining Sheohar, which the party has given up for ally JD (U). The Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led regional party has fielded Lovely Anand, mother of RJD’s turncoat MLA Chetan and wife of Anand Mohan, who had won the Lok Sabha seat twice in the 1990s.

The former MP is disqualified from contesting elections now because of conviction in a case relating to the killing of an IAS officer, who was beaten to death by a mob two decades ago.

Among the BJP’s satraps from other states, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held rallies in Purbi Champaran and Pashchim Champaran while his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma addressed meetings in Siwan, which is being contested by JD (U). The party has dropped its sitting MP Kavita Singh and fielded a new entrant, though many years her senior, Vijay Laxmi.

In the opposition camp, young RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav continued with his tireless campaign, addressing rallies in his wheelchair with a belt around his injured back.

He was joined at most of his rallies by former Bihar minister Mukesh Sahni, who heads the Vikassheel Insan Party and the two young politicians cut a cake, on board their helicopter earlier in the day, to celebrate a “double century” of their joint election meetings.

Sahni had entered the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan, the Bihar prototype of the INDIA bloc, just a fortnight before the polls began in April. His party is contesting three seats, which include Gopalganj and Purbi Champaran.

Oddly, no top leader of the Congress canvassed for the sixth phase in Bihar, despite its own candidates being in the fray in Pashchim Champaran and Gopalganj.

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