The third phase of the Bihar Assembly elections has begun on 28 October, with 808 candidates in the fray for 50 seats. After voting began, according to news reports, around 6% of voters have cast their votes within the first hour.
After the first two phases where the Mahagathbandhan claimed victory in 81 seats, now polling will take place in those areas which are the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) strongholds. Although NDA and grand alliance have put up candidates seeing the caste factor, yet the divide seemed to have withered away.
The Janata Dal (United) is contesting in 18 seats, Lalu’s RJD is contesting 25 seats, and the BJP has put up candidates in 34 constituencies even though the party had won 20 seats in the 2010 elections.
While Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s Nalanda constituency is going to polls, voting will also be held in Saran, Bhojpur, and Buxar, which are traditional BJP strongholds. Lok Janshakti Party leader, Ram Vilas Paswan’s hold, over his traditional area in Vaishali district will also be tested.
Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad is trying to bequeath his political legacy to his two sons Tej Pratap and Tejashwi, who mill make their debut in the political waters in these polls.
Meanwhile, more than 1.45 crore people are eligible to vote across 14,170 booths, of which 6,747 have been declared critical, and 1,909 vulnerable to left-wing extremism. As many as 1,000 companies of central paramilitary forces and state police have been deployed to ensure peaceful voting. While 50 mounted police force would be used in general areas, 47 motor boats would be used for patrolling the riverine areas.