Patna, April 8: The nearly three-week-long campaign for elections to six Lok Sabha constituencies in Maoist-affected districts of Bihar ended Tuesday evening.
The six seats, going to polls April 10 under tight security in view of threat of Maoist violence, have 80 candidates including 10 women in the fray.
Prominent candidates include Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Bihar Assembly Speaker Uday Narain Choudhary, former Kerala governor and Delhi Police chief Nikhil Kumar, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan’s son Chirag Paswan, and former union minister Kanti Singh.
Meira Kumar is seeking re-election from the Sasaram constituency to score a hat-trick but it may prove tough for her to pull it of.
In Aurangabad constituency, Congress’ Nikhil Kumar is contesting against sitting MP Sushil Kumar, who was expelled from Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and now a Bharatiya Janata Party candidate. The JD-U has fielded Bagi Kumar Verma, making it a triangular contest.
Paswan, Bollywood actor turned politician, faces Chaudhary (JD-U) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Sudhanshu Shekhar Bhaskar in Jamui (reserved) constituency.
Bihar Chief Secretary A.K. Sinha said a total of 46,000 security personnel including 22,000 home guards, 74 companies of Bihar Military Police and 163 companies of central para military forces would be deployed on election duty in six Lok Sabha constituencies.
Sinha said two army helicopters at the disposal of the state government would be a great help in air surveillance of Maoist-affected areas.
He said the government want to ensure free and fair polls in which even weaker sections are able to cast their vote without any hurdle, fear or inducement.