PATNA: With the sixth phase of polling, passing off with average performance of the NDA allies on Sunday, as per reports, the seventh and last is shaping up as a ‘do or die’ phase for all contesting parties in Bihar.
The final phase would see four Union ministers of BJP seeking a second term from their respective constituencies, including at Patna Sahib and the Patliputra LS constituencies, where the Mahagatvandhan has also fielded the best of their candidates.
Underling the electoral characteristics of constituencies going for polling on May 19, BK Panday, a retired professor of Political Science said, “Development was not an issue after the fourth phase. Caste equations have bluntly sidelined all issues. Caste arithmetic will be the key factor now.”
Union minister of Law and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad, fighting his maiden Lok Sabha battle is locked in a fierce fight with actor turn politician and sitting MP Shatrughan Sinha, who changed parties from BJP to Congress.
Patna Sahib is dominated by Kayastha community with 4.5 lakh voters and both Prasad and Sinha are Kayasthas. Sensing the going to be tough for Prasad,
BJP chief Amit Shah led a mega road show in the Patna on Saturday evening.
Ram Kripal Yadav, a minister for state in the Union cabinet and the sitting MP of Patliputra has taken on RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti who ran him close in a constituency dominated by Yadav, Koeri, Muslim, SC and Bhumihar voters.
Bureaucrat-turned-politician Raj Kumar Singh, who is currently union minister of state for power and renewable energy, is facing a tough challenge on the Ara LS seat from CPI (ML) candidate Raju Yadav.
Raju Yadav is one of the influential leaders of the Left party and Ara in Bhojpur region has been a strong bastion of the Red party. Yadav’s candidature was declared much earlier than the Mahagathbandhan and the NDA came up with their lists.
“It is another thing that Singh graduated from Saint Stephens College, is an ex-IAS officer and had served as home secretary of India. But he is not comfortable in this caste dominated constituency this time as there is no Modi wave,” Manoj Kumar, a youth of Ara said, adding that caste-equation has emerged as the