Saran: Winning this seat has become almost a prestige issue for Rabri Devi in her maiden bid to enter Parliament as her husband Lalu Prasad has never lost from this constituency in the four attempts he had made.
Polling will be held here tomorrow.
Prasad had represented Saran, also named Chapra seat before delimitation, four times but could not contest this year because of disqualification for 11 years after conviction in a fodder scam case.
Prasad, a product of 1974 JP movement, won the seat for the first time in 1977 to arrive on the national political arena. He later won the seat in 1989, 2004 and 2009.
Rabri’s job, however, will be cut out as she is up against senior BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who had represented Chapra seat in 1996 and 1998 but was humbled twice by Prasad in 2004 and 2009. Rudy is now a Rajya Sabha MP.
JD(U) has fielded Saleem Parvez in a bid to wean away a section of nearly 1.45 lakh Muslim voters in the constituency. In 2009, Parvez had contested the seat as BSP candidate and was placed third with 45,000 votes.
Yadav constitutes about 3.5 lakh out of a total of over 15 lakh voters in the seat while Rudy’s Rajput castemen number around 3 lakh.
A licenced pilot, Rudy is hoping to ride on the Modi wave to mobile support of upper castes and also a sizeable sections of Extremely Backward Castes and Dalits in the wake of LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan forging tie up with BJP.
Meanwhile, in Hajipur, another high-profile Lok Sabha seat in Bihar, Paswan is being challenged among others by 93-year-old Ram Sundar Das, the sitting MP from JD-U, and Congress’ Sanjeev Prasad Tony.
A seven-term Lok Sabha MP from Hajipur, Paswan joined NDA’s bandwagon ahead of announcement of the poll schedule for the Lok Sabha two months ago.
There are an estimated 13.27 lakh voters, including 6.07 lakh women, in Hajipur which is also going to polls tomorrow.