The battle for 243 seats in the Bihar elections are on and the elections are likely to be conducted in five phases as declared by the Election Commission. The counting of vote shall take place on 08th November.
BJP has announced that it shall be contesting elections from 160 seats and the remaining shall be shared by its allies. Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janashakti Party will contest in 40, Upendra Khuswaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party in 23 and former CM Jitendra Manjhi’s Hindustani Awami Morcha (S) in 20 seats. Ram Vilas Paswan seem disappointed with the seat allocation. However BJP has formed three teams which shall hold talks with the three allied parties and report the status to BJP President Amit Shah. Ashwini Chaubey and Mangal Pandey have been assigned the task to hold talks with Rashtriya Lok Samata Party. Dharmendra Pradhan has been asked to hold talks with Lok Janshakti Party. Radha Mohan Singh shall be holding talks with Hindustani Awam Morcha. The BJP alliance gives hints that the CM shall be from BJP and any of its ally would be getting for the post of Deputy CM.
Congress which had contested elections from all the 243 seats in the last elections has now decided to contest elections from only 40 seats. Once strong opponents of each other, both RJD and JD(U) will contest these elections together and have decided to settle for 101 seats each with JD(U) looking as the bigger partner in the coalition. Nitish Kumar is the likely CM candidate of the alliance. The alliance of Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar might be a major threat for NDA. Congress is mainly focused on weakening the position of BJP in Bihar. However it has been a major setback for the grand alliance when Mulayam Singh Yadav decided to quit from the alliance.
The most curious and the eye grabbing entry in these polls have been of Asadudin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, who till now was nowhere seen in the picture in Bihar. Around 17% of the Bihar population consists of Muslims and the entry of AIMIM into the political scenario might prove a threat to Congress and its alliance as AIMIM would be splitting the Muslim votes which shall be beneficial for BJP. With AIMIM out of the scene and Samajwadi Party’s walkout from the grand alliance, the alliance could have aimed for substantial gain from the twenty four seats with significant Muslim population. Although AIMIM is contesting elections only in 24 seats yet it has bought concerns to several parties. Some are even saying that they are the B Team of BJP as it is set to help none but BJP. The 2015 elections will be the biggest test for veterans Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar more than anyone else. Bihar elections have been always caste based and even this time the equations are pretty much based on the same. With stakes high and both sides doing every possible step to win it all, the Bihar Elections will surely be the next big political development in India.