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Parties welcome Bihar poll schedule

Protest mode: RJD leaders Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap ride a tractor during the Bharat Bandh in Patna on Friday.   | Photo Credit: -

With the Election Commission of India (EC) on Friday announcing the schedule for the three-phase Assembly elections in Bihar, political parties welcomed the move and expressed confidence over their respective imminent victories in the poll. A clash between workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Jan Adhikar Party-Loktantrik (JAP-L) led by former MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav took place outside the BJP’s office in Patna. JAP(L) workers were protesting against the farm Bills passed in the Parliament earlier this week.

 

“We welcome the poll schedule as the people of Bihar have already decided to oust the present government led by Nitish Kumar from power. Our contest is against the BJP, not the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal-United (JD-U) as he (Mr. Kumar) has lost his political credibility among the voters of Bihar. The mahagathbandhan (‘grand alliance’) will come to power in this election. The rising crime graph, unemployment, poverty, migration, corruption and farmers’ issues will be the main poll agendas,” said Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav.

Tejashwi Yadav, the younger son and heir apparent in politics to RJD chief Lalu Prasad, led a tractor march with senior party leader Shivanand Tiwari in Friday’s nationwide protest over the farm Bills.

Minutes after the poll schedule announcement, imprisoned RJD president Lalu Prasad, too, exhorted the people of Bihar to prepare for a change in regime. “Utho Bihari, karo taiyareejanata ka sashan abki baari...Bihar mein badlav hoga, afsar raj khatam hoga...ab janata ka raj hoga (rise and awake, people of Bihar...make preparations…this time, there will be the people’s regime…a change in Bihar will happen…the end of bureaucratic rule...now there will be people’s rule),” Mr. Prasad tweeted.

 

The ruling NDA (National Democratic Alliance) parties, the BJP and the JD(U), too welcomed the poll schedule and said, “There was no contest between the NDA and the ‘grand alliance’ as the NDA will win over 220 seats out of the total 243 seats in the upcoming poll.”

“The cracks in the ‘grand alliance’ are clearly visible. The Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular (HAM-S) has already parted ways while the Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samta Party is on the verge of severing ties, and the Mukesh Sahni-led Vikassheel Insaan Party too may follow suit. The RJD-led mahagathbandhan may perform even worse than the 2010 Assembly polls, when it won just 22 seats,” said JD(U) leader and party spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan Prasad.

Similarly, BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said, “The mahagathbandhan neither has a leader, nor a vision for Bihar’s development…in this election, it will be difficult for the RJD to retain even the Leader of Opposition’s post in the State Assembly.”

HAM(S)’s Mr. Manjhi tweeted to say, “This election will be fought on the plank of 15 years of sushashan (good governance) versus 15 years of jungle raj. The people of the State will return Nitish Kumar to power again as he has served them well.” Mr. Manjhi had recently came out of the mahagathbandhan to join the NDA.

Senior State Congress leader and party MLC Prem Chandra Mishra said that his party welcomed the poll announcement by the EC. “Our party is ready for the poll as the people of the State are angry with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who not only had robbed them of their 2015 mandate but has also failed to deliver on all fronts.”

The Bihar Assembly poll for 243 seats will be held in three phases from October 28 to November 7. Counting will be done on November 10. The new Legislative Assembly is to be constituted by November 29 in the State. Bihar will be the first State where elections will be held amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Polling hours have been extended from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., instead of till 5 p.m., for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients to cast their ballot in the last hour of voting.

Meanwhile, a clash took place between the State BJP and JAP(L) party workers outside the BJP headquarters here. BJP workers were seen raining baton blows on JAP(L) workers trapped in a van outside the BJP party office, and shouting slogans of “Narendra Modi zindabad” while policemen on duty remained mute spectators. JAP(L) workers were on a protest march over the farm Bills outside the BJP’s office.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 1:17:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/parties-welcome-bihar-poll-schedule/article32697785.ece

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