1. Development Vs Caste politics: Development-for-all over the caste-based power play? This election will indicate whether a co-existence, a new balance, can be struck between the two ideas in Bihar that have always contradicted each other. (AFP Photo)
2. Corruption and better governance:Ever since the time of Lalu’s Chara Ghotala(fodder scam) corruption and Bihar have been synonymous. The recent allegations against Nitish Kumar accusing him of misusing the Centre’s funds have opened a Pandora’s Box. Will this affect the voters’ mind? (AFP Photo)
3. Roads: The road story is not very impressive with 384.6 constructed km in 2004-05 to 3,474.77 km in 2009-2010 in a state where travel time from point A to B has long been calculated by the number of hours taken rather than distance in km. (AFP Photo)
4. Electricity: One of the basics, electricity is an overriding issue in the state because it is scarcely there and there are no relief options in sight. Even, Nitish Kumar after winning in 2005, promised an improvement only in his next term. (AFP Photo)
5. Ayodhya: The Bihar Assembly elections will be the first real test of how Muslims have accepted the verdict of the Allahabad High Court that apportioned the disputed land in Ayodhya in equal parts to Ram Lalla, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Sunni Wakf Board.
6. Education: The birth place of two principle universities, Nalanda and Vikramshila. The educational infrastructure and methods of the Bihar are not very satisfactory. Presently, Bihar ranks very low on overall state wise literacy chart. Both primary and higher education are in a deplorable state.
The absence of variety in terms of choosing professional colleges has resulted in large scale migration of students from the Bihar to other states like Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka. (AFP Photo)
7. Healthcare: Though there has been an improvement in the healthcare sector after Nitish Kumar took over, the state is still lagging behind in the rural healthcare sector. Many villages still have no primary healthcare centre and a hospital is a far off dream.(AFP Photo)
8. State vs Centre Recently, both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi slammed the state government for not using central funds properly. The Parties, quite clearly, are playing hard on the young vote bank and it will be interesting to see if voters choose to do away with the State-Centre tug-of-war. (PTI Photo)
9. Bihar floods: The curse of Kosi has spewed venom year after year in Bihar. As devastating floods strike the state repeatedly leaving many homeless, it will be interesting to see if the government is able to claim credit for relief work or the opposition nails it down. Whatever it maybe, voter impact would decide what works and what not.(AFP Photo)