One fifth of the Bihar’s population shall be casting their votes today in the first phase of the much awaited Bihar elections. Elections in 49 constituencies have started and enthusiasm has been noticed among the voters. By 12:30 pm, 40.77% had already cast their votes. The battle zone today are the districts of Samastipur, Khagaria, Begusarai, Munger Lakhisarai, Sheikhpura, Jamui, Banka, Bhagalpur and Nawada. The earlier poll surveys suggested no-doubt victory for the BJP led NDA alliance, but now things have changed a lot and its neck to neck fight among BJP led NDA and Nitish-Lalu led grand alliance.
Bihar elections has had two major cusps in the last few days. The first was when RSS sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat’s comment was assumed by the RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav to be an end to reservation based on caste. This increased tension among the other backwards classes and extremely backward classes and they were forced to incline towards the Nitish-Lalu led grand alliance. The second incident was after the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri, Mr. Yadav accused BJP of communalising the issue. However Mr. Modi entered into the debate by saying RJD leader Lalu Prasad yadav had insulted his caste of Yaduvanshis by supporting such an act. BJP’s stand on the issue had defended the Yadav’s.
BJP has very well positioned itself as an upcoming wave of change and that it would end the jungle raj in the state. It has also promised of good governance under NDA led alliance. However Bihar elections have always been more or less caste based and this time also Yadav youths show their inclination towards RJD. They feel since Lalu Prasad Yadav is from the state itself, so he shall be more acquainted with the welfare and concerned about the development. They are also considering the duo of Modi and Shah as people from outside the state and that they are not so acquainted with the pulse of the state. The hoardings and billings of NDA are dominated by the duo of Modi and Shah and common people are finding it hard to accept them as they don’t see their local leader’s face on it.
The first phase shows a strong hold of JD(U). It has fielded 24 candidates in the first phase and in the last elections it won 29 seats when it was in coalition with NDA. RJD has fielded 17 candidates but it had won only four in the last elections. BJP has fielded 27 candidates and it had won 13 seats in the last election.