Bihar assembly election 2020: Will RJD again defeat Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM(S) in Makhdumpur?

After defeating Bihar’s former chief minister and one of the tallest Dalit leaders in the state, Jitan Ram Manjhi, in the Makhdumpur constituency, all eyes are now on the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) candidate eagerly waiting to find out if the party will emerge victorious for a second term on the seat in the assembly elections.

Makhdumpur (SC) is the legislative assembly constituency in the Jahanabad district of the state. The seat, which falls under the Jahanabad Lok Sabha (parliamentary) constituency of Bihar, will vote in the first phase of Bihar assembly elections along with 70 others slated for October 28.

The RJD’s Subedar Das is currently the MLA of Makhdumpur. He had won by a margin of 26,777 votes in the 2015 assembly elections with Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi coming up as the runner up.

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Satish Kumar of the RJD, Devendra Kumar of Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), Avadh Paswan of Nation First Democratic Party, Shravan Manjhi of Jagrook Janta Party, Byas Muni Das of Bahujan Samaj Party, and Ful Chand Manjhi of Sanyukt Kisan Vikas Party are fighting for the Makhdumpur seat, while Dharmendra Kumar and Mukesh Dayal are contesting independently.

Formed in 1952, the constituency has been represented by many prominent faces including former ministers Prasad Verma, Ramashraya Prasad Singh, Ramjatan Sinha and Bagi Kumar Verma and Jitanram Manjhi. The seat, which is reserved for Scheduled Castes, was a stronghold of the Congress party for many years. After the Socialist Party won the seat in 1952, 1957 onwards the constituency was held by Congress candidates up until 1995.

Post 1995, the RJD’s leaders (in alliance with Janata Dal(United) or solo) emerged victorious in Makhdumpur, except between 2010 and 2015, when Jitan Ram Manjhi, who was then with the JD(U), won the seat.

The future of RJD in Makhdumpur now lies in the hands of 239,457 voters, of which 125,457 are men and 114,027 are women. They can cast their vote in 360 polling stations across 22 wards. In the 2015 assembly elections, the constituency had witnessed a voter turnout of 58% when there were 222,833 voters.

Voting on 71 assembly seats in Bihar will take place on October 28, while the second and third round of polling will be conducted on November 3 and November 7 respectively. The results of the first electoral exercise amid the Covid-19 pandemic will be announced on November 10.

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