Political parties in Bihar redraw strategy after sluggish voting in first two phases

Patna, April 28 (IANS) A low turnout of voters in the first two phases of the Lok Sabha elections has forced the political parties in Bihar to redraw their strategy and revisit the schedule of rallies that will be addressed by their star campaigners.

While the polling percentage was 48.23 per cent in the first phase in comparison to 53.47 per cent registered in 2019, the second phase witnessed 58.58 per cent voting which too was four per cent less than the 2019 figure.

The third phase of the Lok Sabha elections will be held in Bihar's Jhanjharpur, Supaul, Araria, Madhepura and Khagaria Lok Sabha constituencies on May 7.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has appealed to the voters to reach polling centres and take part in the electoral process, will stay in Madhepura for the next three days to address rallies and road shows. He will also address two rallies in the other four constituencies where elections will be held on May 7.

Since the election campaign started in Bihar, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) chief Mukesh Sahani have been addressing four to five rallies every day and they have the same programme scheduled for the five constituencies in the third phase as well.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will address two rallies in Jhanjharpur and Begusarai on April 29. The polling in Begusarai will take place in the fourth phase.

After the low turnout of voters in the first two phases, HR Srinivasa, the chief electoral officer of Bihar, has instructed DMs and SPs to take additional initiatives so that voters can come to the polling centres.

"At many places, we have seen people boycotting the elections. The officers have been asked to resolve the issues, if any. Keeping in view of the hot weather, we have also asked them to make adequate arrangements at the polling stations," said Srinivasa.

In the third phase, three candidates of JD-U, one candidate from LJP(R) and one candidate from BJP are in the fray on the five seats.

In Jhanjharpur, JD-U candidate Rampreet Mandal will contest against Suman Kumar Mahaseth of VIP. Dilleshwar Kamat of JD-U will contest against Chandrahas Chaupal of RJD in Supaul. Dinesh Chandra Yadav of JD-U will contest against Kumar Chandradeep of RJD for the Madhepura Lok Sabha seat.

In Araria, Pradeep Singh of BJP is contesting against Shahnawaz Alam of RJD while Rajesh Verma of LJP(R) is contesting against Sanjay Kumar of CPI in Khagaria.


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