IT and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad leads in Bihar from the Patna Sahib constituency against two-time MP Shatrughan Sinha, according to early trends.
He is competing against Bollywood veteran Shatrughan Sinha who switched over to the Congress in April this year. Interestingly, this is the first time Prasad is contesting a Lok Sabha election. He has been a Rajya Sabha member for the past 4 terms. Prasad was a union minister in the Vajpayee government too and is a very senior lawyer who is known for pleading cases against Lalu Prasad in the fodder scam case. He was made a Rajya Sabha member from Bihar in 2000
Prasad had called this a contest between hope and opportunism. He wants to be a voice of the voters who have expectations from the BJP. Inclusive development and economic growth have been the key issues that the BJP has stressed on and which Prasad has repeated in all his speeches. Patna is also Prasad's hometown where he was born and brought up. He has been the party's general secretary, chief spokesperson and the in charge of eight states.
Patna Sahib has been among the most watched seats in the state, having witnessed the dramatic turnaround of Shatrughan Sinha. Sinha had defeated Congress's Kunal Singh in the 2014 elections by more than 2 lakh votes and now he is contesting as a Congress candidate. Both the candidates belong to the upper caste kayastha community and a battle of the kayasthas has been keenly observed in a state which has a sizeable number of Kayasthas. Shatrughan Sinha is also the richest candidate from the Patna Sahib seat. Apart from these two candidates, there are 4 independent contenders for this seat.