Voting for five Lok Sabha seats of Jhanjharpur, Supaul, Araria, Madhepura and Khagaria, out of total 40 LS seats in Bihar, was held in the third phase of General Election 2019 on April 23.
Bihar witnessed peaceful polling as an estimated 60 percent of nearly 89 lakh electorate exercised their franchise in the third phase of Lok Sabha election as the voter turnout was slightly better than the last parliamentary election`s turnout.
The polling was completely peaceful, remarked Chief Electoral Officer H R Srinivas in a press conference after the conclusion of third phase of Lok Sabha election in Bihar.
The maximum 62.80% of the electors exercised their franchise in Supaul, followed by 62.34% in Araria, 59.12% in Madhepura, 58.83% in Khagaria and 56.92% in Jhanjharpur Lok Sabha constituencies.
Overall, the 60% voter turnout in the five seats was 0.92% more than in the 2014 parliamentary elections.
Eighty two candidates are contesting for these five Lok Sabha seats.
A total of 9076 polling stations were set up for the smooth conduct of elections in the third phase in Bihar.
- 3pm: 45.88% polling till 3pm
- 2pm: 40.49% polling till 2pm. Jhanjharpur – 39.85%, Supaul – 41%, Araria – 42%, Madhepura14 – 37%, Khagaria – 43%
- 12 noon: 26.19% polling till 12 noon
- 11am – 19.38% polling till 11am.
- 10am – 13.58% polling till 10am. Jhanjharpur – 15.47%, Supaul – 11.50%, Araria – 14.60%, Madhepura14 – 14%, Khagaria – 12.00%
The BJP’s ally JD(U), headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, has fielded state minister Dinesh Chandra Yadav from the seat named after the district, which also happens to be the birth place of Mandal Commission architect B P Mandal.
Dinesh Chandra is engaged in a three-cornered contest with Pappu Yadav, who won the seat for RJD five years ago but later got expelled by the party and Sharad Yadav who was the runner-up for the JD-U last time but is contesting on the RJD symbol this time.
Araria is held by RJD’s Sarfaraz Alam, who won in a by-election necessitated by the death of his father Mohd Taslmuddin, a local strongman. The BJP has retained its faith in former MP Pradip Singh, though he sustained a huge defeat in 2014 and failed to wrest it back in the by-poll.
In Supaul, the cohesiveness of the Opposition alliance is being tested as sitting MP Ranjeet Ranjan of the Congress is facing rebellion from a local RJD leader contesting as an Independent and enjoying support of the local unit.
The bone of contention between the two parties has been Pappu Yadav, married to the Congress MP, defending his Madhepura seat against the RJD candidate.
In Jhanjharpur, the BJP gave up its sitting seat in favour of the JD(U), which has fielded Ram Prit Mandal, who is locked in a virtual straight contest with Gulab Yadav of RJD.
In Khagaria, sitting MP Mehboob Ali Kaiser, fielded by Ram Vilas Paswans LJP is being challenged by Mukesh Sahni for the Opposition alliance. Sahni is a Bollywood set designer who has emerged as a leader of the sizeable Mallah community.