Patna, March 25 (IANS) As many as 60 candidates, including Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief and former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, filed their nomination papers on Monday, the last day for nominations for the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections to be held on April 11.
Four of the 40 seats in Bihar will go to polls on April 11.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ally and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan’s son Chirag Paswan filed nominations for the Jamui constituency. Chirag had won the seat in 2014.
Ahead of filing nominations, Chirag offered prayers at a temple. He was accompanied by father Ram Vilas Paswan and uncles Ramchandra Paswan and Bihar Minister Pasupati Kumar Paras.
Manjhi filed nominations for the Gaya (reserved) constituency. Manjhi’s party is part of the Grand Alliance of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress, the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) and the Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP).
Manjhi was accompanied by several leaders of the alliance, including former Minister and RJD legislator Surender Yadav and Congress legislator Avadesh Singh. HAM workers and supporters raised slogans as Manjhi submitted the nomination papers. Gaya is Manjhi’s home district.
After filing his nominations, Manjhi, a member of the Musahar community, one of the most backward communities, said: “People have made up their mind to vote against the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).”
The Gaya seat was won by the BJP’s Hari Manjhi in 2014. The NDA has fielded Vijay Manjhi of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) from Gaya, as the seat went to the JD-U as per the seat-sharing pact.
Gaya is one of the five Lok Sabha seats in Bihar that the BJP has given to the JD-U despite having sitting MPs.
BJP candidate from Aurangaabad, sitting MP Sushil Kumar, also filed his nominations, while LJP’s Chandan Kumar filed nomination papers for Nawada.
Similarly, RJD candidate Vibha Devi filed nominations for the Nawada seat and RLSP’s Budheo Choudhary filed nominations for the Jamui constituency.
As per the Grand Alliance’s seat-sharing formula, announced on March 22, the RJD will contest 20 of the 40 seats and the Congress 9. The smaller parties will be in contention for the remaining seats.
The RLSP will put up candidates in five seats, the HAM and the VIP in three each. The RJD will give one seat out from its quota to the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML).