Patna: The stage is set for the second and, arguably, the most crucial of the three phases of Bihar assembly elections in which over 2.85 crore voters will decide the fate of nearly 1,500 candidates on Tuesday.
Voting will take place on November 3 in 94 assembly segments, more than a third of the 243-strong assembly spread across 17 districts, all of which but three -Patna, Bhagalpur and Nalanda - are situated north of the Ganges.
All the four assembly segments in the capital city – Patna Sahib, Kumhrar, Bankipur and Digha – are also going to polls in the second phase. All these are held by the BJP.
Of the 1,463 candidates in the fray on the 94 seats, nearly 10 per cent (146) are women. Among the 2.85 crore voters, females account for 1.35 crore.
Maharajganj has the maximum number of 27 candidates for any constituency while Darauli (04) has the lowest.
Among the major parties, the RJD is contesting 56 of the 94 seats while its ally Congress is contesting 24. The CPI and CPI(M), which joined the Grand Alliance recently, are fighting four seats each. Quite a few seats are being contested by the CPI(ML), the Left outfit with the strongest presence in Bihar.
BJP candidates are in the fray in 46 of the seats, while another 43 are being contested by those with JD(U) tickets. Mukesh Sahni's VIP, the latest entrant in the NDA, is contesting the remaining five.
The LJP is contesting 52 seats, including the two it had won in 2015 contesting as an NDA constituent. The party has fielded one transgender candidate too in this phase.
The bid of Raju Tiwari and Raj Kumar Sah to retain Govindganj and Lalganj respectively is being challenged by the BJP.
According to the Election Commission, votes will be cast at a total of 41,362 polling stations.