Ravi Shankar Prasad, Giriraj Singh, Chirag Paswan among NDA's key candidates from Bihar for Lok Sabha election
The NDA's candidates from Bihar includes Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Radha Mohan Singh and Ashwini Chaubey, as well as LJP leader Chirag Paswan.
The BJP and JD(U) will contest 17 seats each in Bihar, the LJP will contest from the rest
Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Radha Mohan Singh, Giriraj Singh and Ashwini Kumar Chaubey, as well as LJP's Chirag Paswan are some of the key candidates
Prasad replaces rebel BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha in the Patna Sahib constituency
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Saturday released its list of 39 candidates who will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election from Bihar. The NDA, which includes the BJP, Janata Dal (United) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), will face-off with the 'Mahaghatbandhan', which comprises the Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and other smaller parties.
While the BJP and JD(U), which was earlier part of the 'Mahagathbandhan' in Bihar, will contest 17 seats each, the LJP will contest from the rest.
Some of the key candidates who will fight this year's election from Bihar are Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Radha Mohan Singh, Giriraj Singh and Ashwini Kumar Chaubey, BJP leader Ram Kripal Yadav and LJP leader Chirag Paswan.
Here's a look at some of the key candidates of the NDA in Bihar:
Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) - Patna Sahib
Prasad, the incumbent law and IT minister, will contest the Lok Sabha election for the first time this year. The NDA has fielded him from the Patna Sahib constituency, replacing rebel BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha, who had represented the seat since 2009.
A Rajya Sabha MP since April 2000, Prasad had also served as a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government between 2001 and 2004.
Radha Mohan Singh (BJP) - Purvi Champaran
The agriculture minister in the Narendra Modi Cabinet, Singh will seek his sixth term in Parliament from the Purvi Champaran constituency. He had defeated Binod Kumar Shrivastava by 1.9 lakh votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
Singh has been representing Purvi Champaran since 2009, when it was created after the delimitation process. Before the 2009 election, he represented Motihari in the 9th, 11th and 13th Lok Sabha.
Syed Mahmood Ashraf (JDU) - Kishanganj
A senior member of the JDU, Ashraf will fight from the Kishanganj seat. The constituency is one of the few in India where Muslim voters form an overwhelming majority.
He had fought from Kishanganj in 2009, as well, but had lost to the Congress candidate. Ashraf had also contested from Purnia as an Independent candidate.
Pashupati Kumar Paras (LJP) - Hajipur
Hajipur is the traditional stronghold of Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, but this time, LJP leader Pashupati Kumar Paras will contest from the constituency. A minister in the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar, Paras is Paswan's younger brother.
The Union minister will now be the NDA's candidate from Bihar for the Rajya Sabha. He had won the Hajipur seat eight times in the past 11 elections.
Giriraj Singh (BJP) - Begusarai
Union minister Giriraj Singh will contest from Begusarai in the Lok Sabha polls. He had won the last election from the neighbouring Nawada constituency, which will be contested by an LJP candidate this time.
Singh had expressed disappointment over not being allowed to contest from his traditional seat. A senior BJP leader, he has also been a cabinet minister in the Nitish Kumar government.
Chirag Paswan (LJP) - Jamui
Chirag Paswan, the son of Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, will seek to be re-elected from Jamui. He had won the seat in the 2014 election, defeating his RJD rival by over 85,000 votes. Before entering the political arena, he had tried his hand in Bollywood but was unsuccessful.
Chandan Kumar (LJP) - Nawada
Chandan Kumar of the LJP will fight from the Nawada Lok Sabha constituency. Last time, Union minister Giriraj Singh had won the seat, but he will contest from Begusarai this time.
Kumar, a muscleman, is the brother of former MP Surajbhan Singh.
Raj Kumar Singh (BJP) - Aarah
Former home Secretary RK Singh had won the Arrah Lok Sabha seat in the last election by defeating the sitting JDU MP by over 3.1 lakh votes. Singh, who will seek his second stint in the Lok Sabha this time, was made a minister of state in September 2017 and given independent charge of the power ministry. Before entering the political arena, he was one of the most senior IAS officers in the regime of the United Progressive Alliance.
Ram Kripal Yadav (BJP) - Patiliputra
Union minister Ram Kripal Yadav will seek to be re-elected from Patiliputra in the election this year. In the last polls, he had defeated RJD leader and party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav's daughter Misa Bharti by a margin of over 40,000 votes. After winning the high-profile seat, Yadav, a former close aide of Lalu Prasad, was made a minister of state in the current Council of Ministers.
Kaushlendra Singh (JDU) - Nalanda
Kaushalendra Singh will seek a third term from JD(U) stronghold Nalanda this year. Singh was first elected from Nalanda in 2009. He continued his winning streak in 2014, when he narrowly defeated LJP's Satyanand Sharma by just 9,000 votes.
Chhedi Paswan (BJP) - Sasaram
BJP's Chhedi Paswan will fighting from Sasaram this year, a constituency known for repeatedly electing former deputy prime minister Jagjivan Ram. Chhedi, who was with the JD(U) until 2014, earlier represented the constituency between 1989 and 1996. In the last election, Paswan defeated former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar by over 63,000 votes.
Vijay Kumar Manjhi (JDU) - Gaya
Vijay Kumar Manjhi will contest from Gaya against former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who is the nominee of the RJD-led 'Mahaghatbandhan'. The former JD(U) MLA replaces BJP's incumbent MP Hari Manjhi.
Ashwini Kumar Chaubey (BJP) - Buxar
Union minister Ashwini Kumar Chaubey will contesting from the Buxar Lok Sabha constituency. In the last election, he had defeated RJD's Jagdanand Singh by margin of over 1.3 lakh votes.
Chaubey is an old BJP hand, having served the party for over four decades. He had also served as Bihar's health minister under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar till 2013.
Hitting out at the Nitish Kumar-led government, Giriraj said that the incident has exposed the true face of the Mahagathbandhan dispensation under which criminal activities have seen a sudden spurt.
Following the incident, six trains were diverted and five cancelled
"These are mere speculations and there is no basis for such talks. I don't know the source of such reports. I am only interested in uniting all opposition parties...," said the CM when asked if he had plans to enter the Lok Sabha contest from UP.