Seven constitutencies in Bihar will be going to polls in the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha elections 2014 on April 30. An electorate of 1.12 crore will exercise their franchise in 10,521 polling stations. Altogether 59,000 personnel of the central paramilitary forces and state police and two helicopters would be deployed during the elections.
The JD (U) dominated state will see major political battles in the parliamentary constituencies of Samastipur, Begusarai, Khagaria, Darbhanga, Madhepura, Madhubani and Jhanjharpur.
Here's a lowdown of the key fights in Nitish Kumar's state:
With a total electorate of 1,307,067, Darbhanga is identified as one of the 250 economically underdeveloped districts in the country. It receives aid under special governmental schemes such as the Backward Region Grant Fund Programme (BRGFP). Over the last decade, Darbhanga's parliamentary representative has alternately been from either the BJP or the RJD. Kirti Azad of the BJP is its current sitting member of parliament from the region.
The Madhepura constituency boasts of a 1,508,361 strong electorate. This region will see a major political show down between firebrand JD (U) Sharad Yadav and controversial former MP Pappu Yadav of the RJD. Though RJD chief Lalu Prasad is not contesting polls after he was convicted in the multi-crore fodder scam, he has fielded Pappu. This region too receives special grants from the government. Other key candidates include Vijay Kumar Singh from the BJP and Anwar Alam from the AAP.
A key constituency in Bihar, Jhanjharpur, had been the strong hold of the JD (U) for decades now, until the last decade when RJD held the parliamentary seat for two consecutive terms. However, the sitting MP is Mangani Lal Mandal of the JD(U). The constituency was earlier a part of the Darbhanga district and was made into an independent political entity in 1970. It now has an electoral strength of 1,418,977. Other key candidates from the region include Manilal Sahu of the BSP, Tiliya Devi of AAP, Birendra Kumar Chaudhary of BJP and Devendra Prasad Yadav of JD(U).
With a total electorate of 1,312,948, the Samastipur is believed to be one of the most backward regions in Bihar, and is the recipient of government funds under the BRGFP. It has primarily been the stronghold of RJD and JD (U). The sitting member of parliament Maheshwar Hazari. This year's key candidates include Maheshwar Hazari of the JD (U), Ashok Kumar from the Congress and Ram Chandra Paswan of the LJP. AAP will be fielding Ganesh Kumar from the region.
A communist stronghold, Begursarai is even referred to as the 'Leningrade of Bihar'. Although, in the last decade, the electoral of 1,473,263 has sent a JD(U) candidate to parliament. JD(U)'s Monazir Hassan is the current member of parliament from the region. This year's election will see a contest between Tanveer Hassan of the RJD, Rajendra Prasad Singh of CPI, BJP's Bhola Singh, Ram Padarath Yadav of BSP and Sunil Kumar from AAP.
With a total electorate strength of 1,342,970 electorates out of which 630,898 are females and 712,072 are males according to Election Commission of India 2009 reports. Out of the six Assembly segments which make up this constituency, Alauli is reserved for SC candidates. RJD and JD(U) have alternated representation from this regions. JD(U)'s Dinesh Chandra Yadav is the current sitting MP. Other key candidates from this region include BSP's Rajesh Kumar, AAP's Swami Vivekanand, and CPM's Jagdish Chandra Vasu.