Patna: Polling began on Thursday morning for 48 constituencies in the third phase of the assembly elections in Bihar amidst tight security. It's an acid test for the BJP-JD(U) combine which won 27 of the 48 seats here last election.
An electorate of 1.03 crore, including 47.56 lakh women, are eligible to vote for 785 candidates, including 65 women.
Prominent politicians in the fray in this phase are Leader of the Opposition and former chief minister and RJD Chief Lalu Yadav’s wife Rabri Devi, who is contesting from Raghopur in Vaishali district and Sonepur in Saran district.
Former CM Rabri Devi's political future is at stake. Also in the fray is her brother and RJD rebel Sadhu Yadav.
Also, in the fray is Lalu Yadav’s brother-in-law, Sadhu Yadav who left the RJD to join the Congress Party.
Others key contestants are state JD(U) ministers Brishen Patel (Vaishali) and Vyasdeo Prasad (Siwan), Gautam Singh (Manjhi), besides BJP ministers Renu Devi (Bettiah), Ramchandra Sahni (Sugauli) and Rampravesh Rai (Barauli).
The RJD is contesting 35 seats and its ally LJP 13. The ruling JD(U) and BJP are contesting 24 seats each, while CPI has fielded candidates in 10, CPI-M in five and CPI-ML (Liberation) in 16.
The Congress is in the fray in all 48 seats. BSP is also contesting in a number of constituencies.
Of the constituencies, Ramnagar, Raghopur, Patepur and Valmikinagar have been identified as Maoist-hit where polling will be held between 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.
The constituencies are spread over East and West Champaran, Gopalganj, Siwan, Saran and Vaishali districts.
(With inputs from PTI)