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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | With kin in the fray, all eyes on Lalu & Paswan’s bastions

Bihar, which has 40 Lok Sabha seats, is having a seven-phase polling with June 1 being the last one when voting will take place for the remaining eight Lok Sabha seats.
Last Updated : 19 May 2024, 22:16 IST
Last Updated : 19 May 2024, 22:16 IST

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Patna: As polling begins on Monday for the fifth phase of elections to five parliamentary constituencies in Bihar, all eyes will be on Hajipur and Saran.

The son of veteran socialist and former Union Minister late Ram Vilas Paswan, Chirag Paswan, is in the fray from Hajipur. In the adjoining Saran, Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi’s younger daughter Rohini Acharya is making her poll debut. Considered a fiefdom of Lalu who won from here for the first time in 1977 when he was just 29, Saran was then known as Chapra Lok Sabha constituency.

Though Chirag has been a Lok Sabha MP since 2014, this is the first time he is contesting in Hajipur, from where Ram Vilas Paswan won with a record margin in 1977. Senior Paswan had won from Hajipur on seven occasions. He was, however, defeated in 1984 and 2009. Chirag earlier represented the naxal-infested Jamui Lok Sabha seat from where he won two consecutive times in 2014 and 2019. It was only after the death of Ram Vilas Paswan in 2020 that Chirag decided to present himself as a true heir of senior Paswan by contesting from his father’s fiefdom and carrying forward the legacy. 

Equally significant is Saran from where former Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy is making every effort to score a hat-trick, having won from here in 2014 and 2019. Rudy’s road to victory on the previous two occasions was smooth as Lalu, who won from Saran in 2009, was convicted in the fodder scam case and debarred from contesting any election in 2013. However, this time Rudy has locked horns with a political greenhorn Rohini Acharya, who has flown all the way from Singapore to contest from a seat earlier represented by her father.

Rohini, the younger daughter, is the sixth member of the Lalu-Rabri family to enter the electoral fray. Besides her parents, both of whom served as Bihar Chief Minister, Rohini’s elder sister Misa Bharti is a Rajya Sabha member and contesting the Lok Sabha election from the Pataliputra parliamentary constituency. Her two brothers — Tej Pratap, who earlier served as a minister in the Nitish regime and Tejashwi Yadav, the former deputy chief minister, are already in active politics and rooting for her in Saran.

Besides these constituencies, the other three where polling is slated for May 20 are Darbhanga, Madhubani and Muzaffarpur. Altogether 95,11,186 voters in the five constituencies will exercise their franchise on Monday. Bihar, which has 40 Lok Sabha seats, is having a seven-phase polling with June 1 being the last one when voting will take place for the remaining eight Lok Sabha seats.

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Published 19 May 2024, 22:16 IST

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