Fear of Maoist violence stalks most constituencies, particularly Jamui, Sasaram, Aurangabad and Gaya. The other two constituencies voting are Karakat and Nawada.
Thursday’s vote will be under heavy paramilitary protection. Three helicopters will keep vigil and an air ambulance will be on standby at Patna airport. The Maoists have given a poll-boycott call and threatened to chop off ink-marked fingers. Recently, they triggered a blast in Aurangabad killing three policemen.
Among the heavyweights whose fate will be decided on Thursday is Meira Kumar of Congress. She’s contesting from Sasaram and is on a hat-trick.
Former Delhi police commissioner Nikhil Kumar is in the fray from Aurangabad on a Congress ticket. In Naxal-dominated Jamui, Ram Vilas Paswan’s son Chirag is debuting. He’s challenging Bihar speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary of JD(U).