Bihar assembly election 2020: A 2nd term for Congress’s Rajesh Kumar or a new MLA for Kutumba constituency?

Kutumba (SC) constituency in Bihar’s Aurangabad district will go to polls in the first phase of assembly elections in the state scheduled to be held on October 28.

In the 2015 assembly polls, Congress’s Rajesh Kumar had defeated Santosh Kumar Suman of Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) (HAMS) by over 10,000 votes on the seat reserved for the Scheduled Caste community. The constituency was first formed in 2010 and Janata Dal (United’s) (JDU’s) Lalan Ram had become the first MLA from the assembly seat.

While the Congress MLA looks to retain the seat, 13 other candidates will be trying their luck in the upcoming election. Krishna Ram of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Sarun Paswan of Lok Jan Shakti Party, Anil Kumar of Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik), Yugesh Ram of Bharatiya Momin Front, Vikash Kumar Paswan of Bhartiya Sarvodaya Party, Shailesh Rahi of Akhil Hind Forward Bloc (Krantikari), Sharwan Bhuiya of Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), and Harikrishna Paswan of Bahujan Mukti Party are fighting to win from the Kutumba constituency.

Five Independents- Nagendra Prasad, Ranjeet Sagar, Lalan Ram, Vikesh Paswan, and Sateyendra Ram- are also in the poll fray.

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As many as 2.53 lakh (1.18 lakh female voters and 1.35 lakh male voters) are eligible this time to cast their ballots to elect an MLA for the constituency. People from the Ravidas and Rajput communities play a crucial role in deciding the fate of the candidates.

As campaigning for the first phase has come to an end, a high stake battle is expected between the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) under the leadership of chief minister and JDU president Nitish Kumar and the opposition’s grand alliance (GA) comprising the Congress party, RJD, CPI, CPM and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP). RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav is the opposition’s chief ministerial candidate. While the BJP, JDU and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) are currently coalition partners, the latter has decided to go solo in the upcoming polls.

While voting on 71 seats will be held on October 28, the second and third round of polling will be conducted on November 3 and November 7. The results for all three phases will be declared on November 10. The Election Commision of India has advised people to keep Covid-19 protocols in mind as the first electoral exercise during the pandemic gets underway.

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