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Campaign ends for 4th phase of LS polls in Bihar

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NewsDrum Desk
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Patna, May 11 (PTI) Campaigning for the five Lok Sabha seats in Bihar going to polls in the fourth phase of elections to decide the fate of 55 candidates, including two Union ministers, ended on Saturday.

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Voting is scheduled on Monday in Begusarai and Ujiarpur, represented by Giriraj Singh, the Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, and Nityanand Rai, the Minister of State for Home, respectively. Both BJP leaders seek to retain their seats.

Other constituencies where polling will take place are Darbhanga, Samastipur and Munger.

Three of the seats are currently held by the BJP and the party is optimistic following the rallies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Darbhanga and Munger, which is held by ally JD(U) but where the PM had also called Giriraj Singh and sought votes for his cabinet colleague.

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NDA sources are optimistic about gaining further momentum for the alliance with Prime Minister Modi's upcoming engagements. On Sunday, he will conduct a roadshow in Patna, and on Monday, he is expected to address rallies in several other constituencies that will go to polls in subsequent phases.

Singh's campaign culminated with heavyweights like Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma addressing rallies in Begusarai on the final day, barely three days after an election meeting of Union minister and former BJP president Nitin Gadkari.

The prospects of Rai, a former state BJP president, who is aiming at a hat-trick from his seat, received a boost with a rally of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

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Earlier, Shah, who is often called the BJP's 'Chanakya', had also addressed a rally in Begusarai.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge addressed a rally in Samastipur, hours before campaign came to a close.

The Congress hopes to do well in Samastipur, a reserved seat, where its young candidate Sunny Hazari is pitted against another debutante Shambhavi Choudhary, who is fighting on a ticket of Chirag Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas).

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Both greenhorns happen to be offspring of senior JD(U) leaders and state ministers Maheshwar Hazari and Ashok Choudhary.

Shambhavi Choudhary, who was at the PM's Darbhanga rally, believes that words of appreciation by Modi for "our youngest candidate in NDA" have boosted her chances.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav kept up his tireless campaign in all the five seats, undeterred by a spinal injury that often caused him to limp, on some occasions even take a wheelchair.

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The young leader, who was advised rest after an MRI at a premier hospital, chose to keep canvassing, wearing an orthopedic belt.

There has been a controversy around the recent release on parole of Anant Singh, a UAPA convict, barely three months after his wife Neelam Devi, an RJD MLA, crossed over to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U).

Before his conviction caused his wife's entry into politics, Singh had represented Mokama assembly seat multiple times. The assembly segment is a part of Munger, which Chief Minister's close aide Rajiv Ranjan Singh "Lalan", a former JD(U) president, seeks to retain. PTI NAC MNB

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