Focus shifts to Seemanchal for second phase of elections

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Focus shifts to Seemanchal for second phase of elections
Patna: After completion of the first phase of elections in Bihar, the focus has now shifted to Seemanchal where elections for the second phase are scheduled to be held on November 3.

Districts such as West Champaran, East Champaran, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Araria, Purnea, Kishanganj, Katihar etc. fall under Seemanchal. Besides, elections for the second phase will also be held in districts like Samastipur, Patna, Vaishali and Muzaffarpur. Polling will done for 91 seats.

These elections hold great prominence for the political parties as districts like Kishanganj have over 60 per cent Muslim population followed by Araria with 45 per cent, Katihar with 40 per cent and Purnia with over 30 per cent. These four districts gives stability to Mahagathbandhan rather than NDA because of its secular image.

Leaders like Tariq Anwar of Congress, Asrarul Haque and Shahnawaz Hussain are prominent political figures in the region who are responsible for polarisation of votes. The supporters of late bahubali leader Mohammed Taslimuddin also have great influence on voters, especially in Kishanganj.

“The behaviour of the voters from South Bihar is different from that of Seemanchal. The politics in South Bihar’s districts connected to Jharkhand is based on caste while people of Seemanchal area believe in community oriented polarisation of votes,” Shahnawaj Malik, political analyst based in Purnia.

“These areas have sizable population of Muslims. Hence, it is not a question of who is favourite here. Recently, leaders like Tariq Anwar left the NCP and joined Congress. It has strengthen the party. The followers of late Mohammed Taslimuddin have always supported the RJD,” he said.

“Muslims and Yadavs will be voting in favour of Mahagathbandhan across the state. Besides, several Muslim leaders have also asked within the community to caste votes in maximum numbers. The situation is similar for Yadavs and Dalits too. The voters of Bihar are not confused this time,” said Rahul Sahani, a social worker based in Madhubani.

Champaran region has always been a strong hold for BJP. In 2015 assembly election, despite it had contested against RJD and JD-U, the BJP managed to won 13 seats out of 21 in both east and west Champaran.

“The votes of Muslims, Yadavs and upper caste have already been polarised in favour of the respective parties. At the same time some communities are considered to be as silent voters who are not so expressive but they regularly vote and have capacity to surprise political parties,” said Rajesh Kumar, a member of market association of Bettiah.

“Like Muslims and Yadavs votes for RJD and Congress, upper caste voters and traders community are considered as traditional voters of BJP,” he said.

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