The electoral fate of several heavyweights, including state National Democratic Alliance convenor Nand Kishore Yadav, and a host of ministers in the erstwhile Rabri Devi government is to be decided in this phase in which 384 candidates are trying their luck.
After a slack period due to religious festivals, including Eid and Chhath, the campaign for the assembly elections, second this year, saw a galaxy of top politicians, including NDA chairman and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Bharatiya Janata Party boss Lal Kishenchand Advani descending on Bihar.
Union ministers Meira Kumar, Sriprakash Jaiswal, Subodh Kant Sahay, Akhilesh Prasad Singh and All India Congress Committee General Secretary in charge of Bihar affairs Digvijay Singh lent a helping hand to Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad, making a determined bid to reclaim the state after the setback in the February assembly polls when his party lost power for the first time in 15 years.
Vajpayee, despite his indifferent health, addressed the NDA rally in the state capital on Wednesday to give a cutting edge to the alliance's campaign.
Advani, BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Uma Bharti, former union ministers Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, C P Thakur, Hukumdeo Narain Yadav, Ravishanker Prasad, party General Secretary Arun Jaitley, Janata Dal (United) President George Fernandes and parliamentary board chairman Sharad Yadav pitched in for the NDA.