Campaigning ended on Tuesday evening for four Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar’s Gaya, Jamui, Nawada and Aurangabad all of which go to polls in the first phase of elections on April 11.
Leading the charge, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held rallies in Jamui and Gaya, Lok Sabha seats which are being contested by BJP alliance partners LJP and JD(U) respectively.
BJP president Amit Shah held a rally in Aurangabad, from where party MP Sunil Kumar Singh is seeking re-election. The opposition “Mahagathbandhan” has fielded Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM)) candidate Upendra Prasad from the seat.
LJP leader Chirag Paswan is contesting from the Jamui reserved seat. He is the sitting MP and is locked in a virtual straight contest with Bhudeo Chaudhary of RLSP. Union Home Minister Rajnath Sinh has addressed a rally in Jamui.
The Home Minister also held a rally in favour of Chandan Kumar the Lok Janshakti Party nominee in Nawada one of the BJPs sitting seats which the party had to forgo to accommodate Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) which returned to the NDA a couple of years ago. Kumar is the brother of mafia don-turned-politician Suraj Bhan Singh.
The opposition candidate in Patna is RJDs Vibha Devi whose husband Raj Ballabh Yadav was recently disqualified from the state assembly following conviction in a rape case.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi held a rally in Gaya where Mahagathbandhan candidate happens to be former Chief Minister and HAM president Jitan Ram Manjhi.
Gandhi’s rally was also attended by Shatrughan Sinha, the maiden appearance by the Patna Sahib MP in Bihar after his induction into the Congress last week.
A reserved constituency which is considered a stronghold of Manjhi caste, the former chief minister’s primary challenger is Vijay Manjhi of the JD(U).
Other prominent leaders who toured the state for campaigning include former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP national vice-president Shivraj Singh Chouhan.