Though there were 18 candidates in the fray, the battle at Patna Sahib was a prestige battle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shatrughan Sinha, formerly of the party, who switched to the Congress shortly before the polls. Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is a Rajya Sabha member, contested the elections for the first time.
In 2014, Sinha won the seat defeating the Congress by over 265,00 votes. He had also won the seat in 2009. Both the Congress and the BJP are in alliances in the state, with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Janta Dal (United), respectively.
A mistake was detected in the photograph on the voter card of RJD’s Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, who did not cast his vote as he was in New Delhi.
Patna district magistrate Kumar Ravi said, “It seems to be an old photograph of Tejashwi Yadav. We are trying to verify it.”
In another incident, the driver of Tej Pratap Yadav, Tejashwi’s brother, reportedly ran over the leg of a photojournalist, which led to a fight. “When I protested about the manner in which the driver manoeuvred the SUV, Tej’s bouncers and supporters mercilessly thrashed me, causing serious injuries,” said Ranjan Rahi, the photojournalist.
Bihar chief electoral officer (CEO) HR Srinivasa sought separate reports about the two incidents from the Patna district magistrate.
Tej Pratap, however, lodged a police complaint alleging that the photographer attacked his vehicle, damaging its front windshield and causing injury to his driver, a charge Rahi denied.
Patna Sahib, which has 2.1 million voters, is dominated by kayasthas (both, Sinha and Prasad belong to this community), and is considered to be a BJP stronghold. In 2015 assembly polls, the BJP had won five of the six seats. RJD’s Ramanand Yadav won the Fatuha assembly seat.
The constituency came into existence in 2008 after the Patna and the Barh Lok Sabha seats were merged and rechristened as Patna Sahib and Patliputra during the delimitation of constituencies.
Here is a look at the numbers:
May 20, 2019 00:10 IST