The clash for the state begins and here's a simple guide to the first phase of the polls.
More than two crore voters in Bihar will decide the fate of 1,066 candidates on Wednesday across 71 assembly segments in the first phase of elections.
Of the 2.14 crore voters who will exercise their franchise, 1.01 crore are women and 599 belong to the third gender, according to data provided by the Election Commission.
The candidates include 952 men and 114 women, the maximum number (27) being in the fray at Gaya Town and the minimum (5) at Katoria in Banka district.
Among the major political parties, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United is contesting in 35 of the 71 seats, followed by its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (29), while the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal has fielded its candidates in 42 and its coalition partner Congress is in the fray in 20 assembly segments.
Lok Janshakti Party, headed by Chirag Paswan, is in the fray in 41 seats, which include all the 35 contested by the JD-U, in keeping with the call given by the young party president, who recently pulled out of the NDA in the state, to "dislodge" the chief minister from power.
Over 30 per cent of 1,064 candidates in the first phase of the Bihar assembly election have declared criminal cases against themselves, according to a report by poll rights group Association for Democratic Reforms.
Twenty-three per cent or 244 candidates have declared serious criminal cases against themselves, it said. Serious criminal cases are non-bailable offences with over five years of imprisonment.
As many as 328 or 31 per cent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
A total of 375 or 35 per cent have given their financial assets worth crores of rupees while five candidates have declared zero assets, the report said.
Out of the 1,064 candidates, 375 (35 per cent) are crorepatis. Among the major parties, 39 (95 per cent) out of 41 candidates analysed from RJD, 31 (89 per cent) out of 35 candidates analysed from JD-U, 24 (83 per cent) out of 29 candidates analysed from BJP, 30 (73 per cent) out of 41 candidates analysed from LJP, 14 (67 per cent) out of 21 candidates analysed from the Congress and 12(46 per cent) out of 26 candidates from the BSP have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore," the report said.