Bihar Goes to Polls Today, 49 Seats in First Phase
Here are the top 10 developments:
- The BJP has fielded 27 candidates – the rest of the seats will be contested by its allies, including 13 seats for Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party. In the opposite camp, the Janata Dal (United) has fielded 24 candidates, Rashtriya Janata Dal 17 and Congress 8.
- The Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party, which broke away from the anti-BJP alliance over seat sharing is contesting 18 seats. The BSP, which does not have much influence in Bihar, has fielded 41 candidates. The Left Front is trying to make significant inroads. While CPI has fielded 25 candidates, CPI-M has fielded 12.
- Voting will start at 7 am on Monday. While in a majority of seats, the polling would end at 5 pm, at some constituencies in Naxal-hit areas, the polling will end a couple of hours early in view of the law and order situation. These areas are under heavy security blanket, the authorities have said.
- In the run-up to the elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held six rallies over two days last week. The party, which has not projected a chief ministerial candidate, is seeking votes on his development agenda.
- Altogether, the Prime Minister will address 40 rallies across the state. His party’s strategy to carpet-bomb Bihar with his rallies comes after reports that indicate a neck and neck finish for the BJP with the Nitish Kumar-led alliance.
- The elections are crucial for the BJP in view of its low numbers in Rajya Sabha, or the upper house of Parliament, where key bills have got stuck. The results in Bihar will also set the tone for several key assembly elections next year – West Bengal, Kerala, Assam and Tamil Nadu.
- The campaigning, accordingly, has been high decibel, with even the recent beef controversy sparked by the mob killing in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri and the reservation issue entering the political debate of the state which has a large percentage of Muslims and Dalits.
- As Lalu Prasad Yadav was targeted by the BJP over his remark that some Hindus eat beef, his ally Nitish Kumar has accused the BJP of trying to “import” the beef controversy to polarise voters.
- On Sunday, a minister in Nitish Kumar’s government, Awadhesh Kushwaha, resigned after a video emerged showing him purportedly accepting money allegedly in return for favours.
- Voting will be over in the state on November 5. The counting will be held on November 8.