Patna : Bihar electorate has readied itself to go for first phase of polls on October 12. After continuous rallies and several disruption of moral code of conduct, amidst accusations and inter-party war of words, the campaigning for Bihar assembly elections for the first phase has come to and end. A total of 49 seats will be contested in this first round of polls, and fate of 49 candidates will finally gets sealed and shortlisted from among the total 243 assembly constituencies of Bihar state.
High decibel campaigns began with scores of election rallies by the two main contending alliances – the BJP-led NDA along with Jitan Ram Manjhi’s newly-formed Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) up against the ‘grand alliance’ of Lalu Prasad’s RJD, Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and the Congress. Step by step, as campaigning gained momentum, Beef occupied centre stage more than anything else. Development, road, water, electricity and overall state betterment slowly died down among the sharp voices of ‘to eat or not to eat’ debates, where each leader, irrespective of their party or its ideologies, jumped into the beef debate, by either triggering controversies, or by responding to someone else’s statements.
PM Modi vigorously stirred Bihar’s melting electoral pot by accusing Lalu Prasad Yadav of RJD, on the context of insulting the yaduvanshis, who rear cattle, by his comment. Soon, PM Modi’s remarks provoked accusations of trying to communalise the elections. Lalu Yadav himself triggered debate by stating ‘hindus also eat beef’, which found support by his party member going to the extent of pulling age old saints into the beef eating drama.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar harped on the alleged move to scrap quotas, rally after rally, to consolidate the backward caste votes. His focus remained consolidated on countering the Prime Minister and handling caste card with special reference to reservation, and counteracting communal thread and BJP’s way of working.
Warnings of a return of ‘Jungle Raj’, a term used by Lalu’s critics to describe alleged lawlessness during RJD’s 15-year rule, was an oft repeated refrain of the NDA leaders, including PM Modi and Amit Shah.
The state will go for polls on October 12 when voters will cast their choice and seal 49 seats out of 243 legislative vacancies in this first phase of polling.