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Fifth Phase of Bihar Elections: Some Interesting Facts

November 3, 2015

The grueling electioneering now comes to an end as Bihar gears up for the fifth and final phase of polling to be held in 57 assembly constituencies of nine districts – including the Muslim-dominated Seemanchal region comprising Araria, Purnea, Kishanganj and Katihar districts – on 5 November.

The nine districts going to polls in the fifth phase are Araria, Darbhanga, Katihar, Kishanganj, Madhepura, Madhubani, Purnia, Saharsa and Supaul.

The fifth phase has the highest number of voters as compared to previous phases of polling. Among the districts, both Darbhanga and Madhubani have ten assembly constituencies each but Madhubani has largest number of contestants (144) in the fray, followed by Darbhanga with 131 and Purnea, which has seven assembly constituencies, with 128 candidates in the fray. Saharsa, Madhepura and Kishanganj have just four assembly constituencies each in phase five.

Elections in the region have become interesting following the maiden entry of Asaduddin Owaisi’s All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) into Bihar elections by fielding six candidates (a significant climbdown from its earlier decision to field 24 candidates) in Seemanchal.

Fifth Phase of Elections to Be a Multi-cornered Contest

Unlike earlier four phases, which were largely perceived to be a direct contest between the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and the ruling Grand Alliance (or Mahagathbandan) comprising the Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, the fifth phase appears a multi-cornered contest. The clout of Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav in the region makes his political outfit, Jan Adhikar Party Loktantrik – a constituent of the Third Front led by Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav – a serious player in the Seemanchal region. The JAP(L) has fielded 40 candidates in the region.

At least 10 of the 24 assembly seats in Seemanchal are dominated by Muslims and this is a significant chunk. If polarisation of votes could at all play a major role to benefit the BJP, that would be in these segments. It is in this light that the impact of comments made by BJP President Amit Shah (“If BJP loses in Bihar, crackers will go off in Pakistan”), and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reference to the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots during his election rallies on 2 November need to be analysed.

Seemanchal Region Will be a Test for BJP’s Winnability

Of the four Seemanchal districts, Kishanganj bordering Bangladesh has an overwhelming 67.98 per cent Muslim population while Araria and Katihar have well over 40 per cent Muslim population (42.98% and 44.47% respectively). Purnea has nearly 40 per cent Muslim population.

Although Seemanchal accounts for hardly 10 per cent of the total seats in Bihar Assembly, it is crucial for the BJP’s scheme of things – to test its winnability in a Muslim-dominated region.

It may be mentioned that the Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal had fared miserably in the region in the 2010 state assembly elections. They could win only two and one seats respectively. The JD-U was then an ally of the BJP and had won four assembly seats in Seemanchal. However, situation changed drastically against the BJP after its split with the JD(U) and it lost three Lok Sabha seats in Seemanchal – Araria, Purnea and Katihar — in 2014 general elections.

Following are some interesting facts about the fifth phase of polling:

Total Constituencies to go to poll in the fifth phase: 57

Total Candidates in the fray in the fifth phase: 827

Total number of female candidates in the fifth phase: 58

Party-wise break up of candidates in the fray in the fifth phase
Bahujan Samaj Party – 55 Communist Party of India – 20
JAP(L) – 40 CPI(M) – 13
Bharatiya Janata Party – 38 Indian National Congress – 12
Samajwadi Party – 26 LJP – 11
Janata Dal (United) – 25 Rashtriya Lok Samata Party – 5
CPI(ML)(L) – 23 Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) – 3
Rashtriya Janata Dal – 20 Independents — 262

 

Total Polling Station – 14,061

Total Voters in the fifth phase: 1,54,92,369

  • Male Voters – 81,65,505

  • Female Voters – 73,26,426

  • Third Gender –  438

Key Issues: The issue of communal polarization is dominant in the region given its large Muslim population. Influx of Bangladeshi illegal migrants is another issue. The larger issues of corruption, crime, backwardness and development though remain the same in this phase too.

Results on these 57 seats in 2010

  • Janata Dal (United) – 20 (Araria – 1, Darbhanga – 2, Katihar –1, Madhepura – 3, Madhubani –4, Purnea –2, Saharsa – 2, Supaul –5  )

  • Bharatiya Janata party – 23 (Araria – 4, Darbhanga – 6, Katihar – 4, Kishanganj – 2, Madhepura –0,  Madhubani –3, Purnea – 3, Saharsa—1, Supaul — 0)

  • Rashtriya Janata Dal – 8 (Darbhanga – 2, Kishanganj – 1, Madhepura – 1, Madhubani – 3, Saharsa –1)

  • Lok Janshakti Party – 2  (Araria –1, Kishanganj –1)

  • Congress – 3 (Kishanganj – 2, Purnea – 1)

  • Independent – 1 (Katihar – 1)

Crorepati candidates in the fifth phase – 182

Average assets of candidates in the fifth phase – Rs. 85.82 lakh

Total candidates with assets more than Rs 10 crore – 8 (0.9%)

Total candidates with assets between Rs. 5 crore and Rs. 10 crore – 17 (2.06%)  

Party-wise break-up of crorepati candidates in the fifth phase

Independents – 49, BJP – 24, JD(U) – 18, RJD – 12, SP – 10, LJP – 9, INC – 5, CPI – 5, Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) –1

Party-wise percentage of Crorepati Candidates in the fifth phase

LJP – 81%, JD(U) – 72%, BJP – 63%, RJD – 60%, INC – 42%, SP – 38%, CPI – 25%, Independents – 19%

Party-wise average assets per candidate in fifth phase

RJD —  Rs 3.13 crore, LJP – Rs 3.06 crore, BJP — Rs 2.29 crore, JD(U) – Rs 2.16 crore, SP – Rs 1.89 crore, Congress– Rs 1.61 crore, HAM (S) – Rs. 1.33 crore, RLSP – Rs. 1.08 crore, CPI — Rs 55 lakh, Independents – Rs. 70 lakh

Richest and poorest candidates in the fifth phase

  • Richest Candidates:

a)  Vijay Kumar Mishra, Independent, Araria Constituency in Araria district – Assets worth over Rs 23.68 crore

b) Sunil Chaudhary, JD(U), Benipur Consitituency in Darbhanga district – Assets worth over Rs 14.23 crore

c)  Mujeeb Rahman, SP, Jale Constituency in Darbhanga district – Assets worth over Rs 13.85 crore

Poorest Candidates:  Hatim, Janata Dal Rashtrawadi, Sikti Constituency in Araria District – Rs. 600 worth assets declared.

Non Declaration of PAN – In all, 366 (44%) candidates in the fifth phase of Bihar elections have not provided their PAN details in their declaration form.

Age groups of candidates in the fifth phase

  • Number of candidates between 25-50 age group – 571

    • 25-30 year age group – 85 candidates

    • 31-40 year age group – 236 candidates

    • 41-50 year age group – 250 candidates

  • Number of candidates between 51-80 age group — 253

    • 51-60 year age group – 167 candidates

    • 61-70 year age group – 73 candidates

    • 71-80 year age group — 13

  • Number of candidates above 80 years –– 1

  • Two candidates have not declared their age details

Educational Qualification of Candidates in the fifth phase

  • Graduate and above – 315

    • Doctorate – 24

    • Post Graduates – 103

    • Graduates with professional degrees – 39

    • Graduates – 149

    • Between 5th pass and 12th pass – 395

      • 12th Pass – 175

      • 10th Pass – 151

      • 8th Pass — 59

      • 5th Pass — 10

      • Simple Literates — 100

      • Illiterates — 7

Candidates with criminal records in the fifth phase – 254 (31%)

Constituencies with highest number of candidates with criminal records – Balrampur, Bisfi, Jhanjharpur, Kishanganj and Rupauli with 8 candidates each with criminal records

Number of constituencies with three or more candidates with criminal records in the third phase – 42 (82%)

Candidates facing serious criminal cases related to murder, attempt to murder, Kidnapping, crimes against women, causing communal disharmony, etc. – 193(23%)

Number of candidates facing murder charges – 15

Candidates with highest number of murder charges

  • Mahboob Alam, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, Balrampur constituency, faces 3 murder cases.

 

Party-wise candidates with criminal records in the fifth phase
BJP – 21 Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation – 12
JAP(L) – 21 SP – 12
BSP – 16 CPI – 11
RJD – 10 Congress – 7
CPI(M) – 9 Independents – 55
JD(U) – 13

 

Party-wise percentage of candidates with criminal record in Phase 5
CPI (M) — 69% CPI – 55%
RJD – 50% SP – 46%
JAP(L) — 53% INC – 58%
JD(U) – 52% BSP – 29%
CPI)ML)(L) –52% Independents – 21%
BJP – 55%

 

 

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Disclaimer: The views expressed are of those of the author and do not represent the views of Elections.in.

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