Lalu, Paswan to witness prestige fights in fifth phase
By  IANS | Updated:  May 04, 2019, 09:37 AM
The fifth phase of the Lok Sabha election will be interesting and politically crucial for the politician fraternity of Bihar as the long term turfs of two heavyweights -- RJD chief Lalu Prasad's Saran and LJP supremo Ram Vilas Paswan's Hajipur -- will go to the polls on May 6.
The results of these seats would also decide the influence of the Rashtriya Janata Dal's leader and the Lok Janshakti Party's chief in their respective constituencies.
From the Saran parliamentary constituency which is considered the stronghold of Lalu and his family, the opposition grand alliance has fielded Chandrika Rai, an RJD leader and father of Lalu's daughter- in-law. The National Democratic Alliance has fielded the brother of Paswan, Pashupati Kumar Paras, from the Hajipur seat.
Both Lalu and Paswan have been the first choice of voters in these constituencies but interestingly both of them are not contesting in this election.
Lalu has represented the Saran seat, earlier known as Chhapra, four times in Parliament. The first time he was elected a member of parliament from the seat in 1977; thereafter, he won the seat in 1989, 2004 and 2009. However, he had also tasted defeat from here.
Rai is pitted against Bharatiya Janata Party leader and sitting MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy, hence, this election is linked to the prestige of Lalu and the entire RJD.
Similarly, Paswan represented the Hajipur seat in Parliament eight times but this time he has kept himself out of the fray. Paswan has fielded his younger brother and LJP state chief Paras who will take on the RJD's Shivchandra Ram.
Political pundits are saying that the result on this seat will decide whether Paswan still has the same influence in the constituency as he had earlier or his support has been eroded .
Paswan won the seat for the first time in 1977 and has won from the constituency eight times. He also has a record of winning the election with the maximum number of votes in his name.
In this situation, although both the leaders are not contesting the elections personally but their prestige and influence are at stake.
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