The Bihar assembly election seemed a done and dusted affair a few weeks back—However, now it is interestingly poised with various indicators changing over the election campaign
In an exclusive interview to Network18's Group Editor-in-chief Rahul Joshi on October 17, Union Home Minister Amit Shah delved into a range of issues from India-China face-off to the BJP’s relations with its former allies - Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and the LJP in Bihar.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is fighting multiple obstacles this election: anti-incumbency, a multi-party alliance in the Opposition and, importantly, resistance from alliance partners in the NDA
Bihar Election 2020 LIVE Updates: Voting for 243 assembly seats in Bihar will be held on October 28, November 3 and November 7. Catch all the latest update here
LJP’s Chirag Paswan, it is believed, has the backing of BJP’s central leadership, and they expect to win nearly twice the number of seats to the JD(U) and install a more hardliner leader in Bihar
Chirag Paswan has done to Nitish Kumar what his father did to Lalu Prasad in 2005. It remains to be seen if Chirag’s decision to go solo will pay off for the LJP as it undergoes a generational shift.
Led by Chirag Paswan, the LJP has been at odds with Bihar Chief Minister and JDU Chief Nitish Kumar over several issues including Kumar’s recent decision to join hands with former chief minister of the state Jitan Ram Manjhi
LJP leader Kali Pandey, who is the party's in-charge for the Delhi polls, said his party's alliance to the BJP was confined to Bihar and added that this was for the saffron party to decide if it wanted a tie-up in the national capital as well.
Chirag Paswan is the second term Lok Sabha member and has been the key decision maker in the party for a while
Signalling a generational shift in the party, sources said Chirag, 35, is likely to take over as LJP's national president in November during its national executive meeting
NDA allies who won big will be hoping to get important portfolios in the Union Cabinet. At the same time, the outcome of the BJP opening lines with non-NDA parties will have to be seen.
The LJP's parliamentary board passed a resolution to this effect at a meeting, which was attended by its six newly-elected Lok Sabha MPs, the board's chairman and Ram Vilas Paswan's son Chirag Paswan told reporters.
'My party has always stood for secularism, equality, social justice and power for the poor. Out list of candidates shows it,' Paswan said.
In a letter written to Modi, LJP parliamentary board chairman Chirag Paswan pleaded that the drive against terrorism "must not be halted this time, until a single terrorist was alive".
The assertion was made by LJP's state president Pashupati Kumar Paras, younger brother of the party chief and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, a day after the party's parliamentary board chairman Chirag Paswan expressed dissatisfaction over no headway being made on the seat-sharing issue despite several meetings with the BJP leaders.
In such a "critical phase" for the alliance, the BJP should address concerns of other parties left in the NDA in a timely and respectful manner, Chirag Paswan said
Paswan, in his recent comments in Bihar, was critical of some BJP leaders' alleged communal statements, and had advised the party to take along all sections of society, setting off speculation about his future plans.
Polling is peaceful in the state as we have not received any information of untoward incident so far," Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshmanan told PTI. Polling is currently underway in six Naxal-hit districts of Kaimur, Rohtas, Arwal, Jehanabad, Aurangabad and Gaya.
The second phase polling constitutes a great challenge for the security personnel as the six districts are heavily affected by Naxalism. In view of the security concerns, voting time has been curtailed by one hour and two hours in as many as 23 Constituencies.
"Urging all those voting today in Bihar to vote in large numbers. I particularly urge my young friends to cast their vote." the Prime Minister tweeted.
As many as 49 constituencies from across 10 districts from the eastern and central part of the state will vote on Monday sealing the fate of 583 candidates including 54 women nominees.
A new pre-poll survey has predicted landslide victory for the BJP-led NDA in Bihar with the alliance projected to win 162 seats and the JD(U)-RJD-Congress combine set to win only 51 seats.
Government on Wednesday gave fresh signals of making changes in the controversial Land Bill to accommodate farmers' interest as yet another NDA constituent LJP joined others in expressing reservations over the provisions of the legislation.
According to CNN-IBN-Lokniti-CSDS election tracker, the BJP-LJP alliance is expected to win 22-30 seats in Bihar. In Uttar Pradesh, the BJPis projected to win 41-49 seats.
BJP leaders Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Shahnawaz Hussain went to Paswan's residence where they were received by his son Chirag Paswan, who had been strongly batting for the tie-up.