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Gopalganj Lok Sabha constituency: Once a Congress stronghold, it has no favourites now

In the 2014 election, Bharatiya Janata Party's Janak Ram defeated Congress candidate Dr Jyoti Bharti in Gopalganj.

Gopalganj Lok Sabha constituency: Once a Congress stronghold, it has no favourites now

Gopalganj is one of the 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar. Reserved for Scheduled Caste, the seat comprises of six Vidhan Sabha segments, namely Baikunthpur, Barauli, Gopalganj, Kuchaikote, Bhore and Hathua. Of the 40 seats in Bihar, 34 are unreserved seats and 6 are reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates.

Also Read: History of Lok Sabha elections

In the 2014 election, Bharatiya Janata Party's Janak Ram defeated Congress candidate Dr Jyoti Bharti with a massive margin of 286936 votes. Gopalganj is one of the ten constituencies which has been termed as 'vulnerable' by the BJP. The others in the BJP list include Begusarai, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Patna Saheb, Sasaram, Siwan and Ujiarpur.

Full coverage: Lok Sabha election 2019

 

The Gopalganj district was formed in 1976 after it was split from Saran district. It is one of the 36 districts in the state which have been categorised as economically backward and are dependent on government funding.

The seat was initially a Congress stronghold but was later won by candidates of the Samata Party, Janata Dal, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Syed Mahmud won the seat for the Congress in the 1952 and 1957 elections. For the next four consecutive years in 1962, 1967, 1971 and 1977, Dwarika Nath Tiwary won the seat - thrice on a Congress ticket and the last one on Janata Party's ticket.

In 1980, Congress's Nagina Rai won the seat, in 1984 Independent Kali Prasad Pandey won, in 1989 Janata Dal's Raj Mangal Mishra won. Rashtriya Janata Dal candidates Abdul Ghafoor and Lal Babu Prasad Yadav won in 1991 and 1996 respectively. In 1998, Abdul Ghafoor won on a Samata Party ticket while in 1999, Raghunath Jha won on a Samata Party ticket. In 2004, Rashtriya Janata Dal's Anirudh Prasad Yadav won, Janata Dal United's Purnmasi Ram won in 2009 while Bharatiya Janata Party's Janak Ram won in 2014.

In 2014 election, Bihar witnessed an overall turnout of 56.28 per cent of which 57.66 per cent were female voters and 55.08 per cent were male voters. The Gopalganj seat saw an overall voter turnout of 54.67 per cent which included 57.70 per cent female and 51.88 per cent male voters.