Oct 12, 2015, 5:00 PM IST – The 10 districts where polls happened today are: Samastipur, Begusarai, Khagaria, Bhagalpur, Banka, Munger, Lakhisarai, Sheikhpura, Nawada and Jamui.
• Total Assembly seats in Phase-1: 49
• Total candidates : 583
• Women candidates: 54
• BJP is fielding 27 candidates while LJP is putting up 13. The remaining 9 are with allies.
• JD(U) is fielding 24 candidates, RJD 17 and Congress 8.
• SP is fielding 18 candidates, BSP 41, CPI 25, CPI(M) 12 candidates
Total electors: 1,35,72,339
Bihar Elections: Voter turnout till 4 PM in Phase 1 voting
Till 4 PM the overall voting percentage was 52.12%. The district break-up was:
Voting had ceased in some booths and EVM sealed, as scheduled. In other booths, people were continuing to arrive for voting at the time of writing.
PM Modi uses ‘sting operation’ to hit out at Mahagathbandhan
With EC clearing his rally, PM Modi came out all guns blazing at the Mahagathbandhan speaking at Maoist-hit Jehanabad. He started off by praising the EC for the wonderful arrangements at all polling stations which included detailed arrangements for security and the thoughtful provision of drinking water and chairs for the aged. He said it was a tribute to Indian democracy that we are able to hold free and fair elections without fear.
Yesterday was Jayaprakash Narayan’s 113th Birth Anniversary and the PM was all praise of JP and his ideology and stand against corruption. Modi, then launched an attack on Nitish-Lalu combine calling them JP’s ‘chelas’ who had now given up their ideals and were taking Rs 4 lakh bribes, in a reference to JD(U) Minister Awadesh Kushwaha’s being caught on tape accepting a bribe. He asked the people why there were no ‘sting’ operations or corruption charges while Nitish Kumar was CM in alliance with the BJP and why these were coming up now?
Narendra Modi invoked the popular OBC leader Jagdev Prasad, who was popularly called ‘Lenin of Bihar’, and asked who were the people in power when he was brutally murdered in 1974?
He next spoke at Bhabhua. Modi hit out at the Mahagathbandhan yet again, calling them shameless saying it was ‘Mahaswarthbandhan’ and the fact that this was only an alliance of convenience. He spoke about 60 years of backwardness of Bihar that the three alliance partners-JD(U), RJD and Congress, were responsible for and asked the people of Bihar to vote against them and for development.
On another occasion, Home Minister Rajnath Singh speaking to the media has clarified that the special package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore announced by the centre would stand irrespective of whether NDA came to power in Bihar or not. This was in response to the Grand Alliance accusing BJP that they would backtrack on their promise in case they lost the election.
Other developments from polling stations
LJP candidate Vijay Kumar was shot at by unknown persons in Jamui. He escaped unhurt and one person had been detained in connection with the shooting.
Meanwhile, party supporters of NDA and Grand Alliance clashed near Booth 156 in Jamui. Four persons have been detained.
Other than this, the overall polling was peaceful. The next phase of voting will take place on Friday 16 October.
Oct 12, 2015, 9:00 AM IST – 1.35 crore citizens of Bihar will vote today for their choice of candidates representing 49 Assembly constituencies that will form part of the Bihar State Legislative Assembly, in first of five phases of voting, with the last phase scheduled to be held on 5 November. Voting will begin at 0700 hrs and will close at 1700 hrs in most places; however, some locations which have a law & order problem, will close earlier at 1500 hrs and 1600 hrs. Date of counting is 8 November 2015 (Sunday).
The break-up of electors in the first phase of voting is:
• Total: 1,35,55,260
• Male electors: 72,37,253
• Female electors: 63,17,602
• Third gender: 405
• Total: 17,079
• Male electors: 11,783
• Female electors: 5,296
• Third gender: 0
First time electors within 18-19 years of age include:
• Total electors: 507021
• Male electors: 298996
• Female electors: 207965
• Other: 60
• Total number of polling stations: 13,212
• Total number of polling station locations: 9,301
• Total number of polling staff to be deployed: 63,624
• Total number of police personnel to be deployed: 55,902
• Total number of video cameras to be deployed: 935
• Total number of Helicopter/UAV to be deployed: 5
JD(U) Minister Awadhesh Kushwaha resigns
In a major setback to the Nitish Kumar government just one day before the polls, Awadhesh Kushwaha, Minister for Urban Development in Bihar submitted his resignation. Yesterday, a video surfaced that showed Kushwaha accepting Rs 4 lakh in cash as bribe from an unnamed businessman, in return for a promise for lucrative contracts if JD(U) came back to power.
Confirming and accepting his resignation, JD(U) party President Sharad Yadav said that his party had zero tolerance for corruption and that the BJP must also follow suit with various ministers who have been accused of corrupt or malpractices. The EC has directed the DM to probe the allegations.
Awadhesh Kushwaha is contesting from Pipra constituency in West Champaran district.
In another unrelated development, BJP suffered a setback on 9 October, when Dilmani Devi, sitting BJP MLA from Brahmapur Assembly constituency in Buxar district, resigned from the party and switched allegiance to JD(U). Daughter-in-law of BJP veteran Kailashpati Mishra, she was upset at being denied a party ticket. The party high command has given the ticket to Vivek Thakur who happens to be the son of former Union Minister and BJP leader C.P.Thakur.
She criticised senior BJP party leaders like Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh for letting her down despite giving her assurances of party support when her father-in-law Kailashpati Mishra passed away in 2012. She was all praise for Nitish Kumar and his development work in Bihar.
EC clears Prime Minister’s rallies during voting
The Election Commissioner has cleared the way for the PM to proceed with holding his rallies today despite written objection from the Grand Alliance. Dewesh Sehra, the electoral officer in Kaimur had earlier turned down a request for permission for PM’s rally at Airport Maidan citing security reasons. On Saturday, SK Modi led a BJP delegation to meet Additional Chief Electoral Officer at Patna, R. Lakshmanan and request his permission for holding the rallies.
Giving his permission, R. Lakshmanan said that the rally may proceed but electronic media could not be used to publicize the PM’s speech under Section 126 of the Representation of People Act, but left its interpretation to stakeholders like political parties and media.
PM Modi is due to hold his first rally in Jehanabad at 1000 hrs this morning and at Airport Maidan, Bhabhua in Kaimur district, at 1200 hrs. Meanwhile, the PM has called out to all qualified voters to come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.
A day before polls, BJP and JD(U)-RJD fight over JP’s legacy
No one really gave much attention in the last fourteen months, beyond the usual lip service, to Jayaprakash Narayan, the socialist leader and reformer who led the movement to oust Indira Gandhi in 1974. However, one day before Bihar goes to polls, his Birth Anniversary has become a rallying point for all those seeking to claim his legacy.
On one side, there is the BJP that organized a mega function at Vigyan Bhavan yesterday to commemorate JP’s birth anniversary and re-kindle his ideology. On the other hand, there are claimants like Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav, who were activists during the movement and went to jail along with JP for fighting for the cause of democracy. Their claim on JP comes from the fact that they were actively involved and went to jail, unlike any of the current leaders in BJP, including Narendra Modi, who were far from the movement and didn’t spend a single day in Jail.
The PM has come under a lot of criticism from opposition parties for using the occasion to speak about the emergency and Congress’s role. Meanwhile, the fight for claiming to be true heirs of JP carries on.
The latest from polling stations today
Voting started at 0700 hrs this morning with a low turnout. At 0900 hours the turnout was around 10%, by 1000 hrs the turnout was 13% and long ques were seen at many booths and is expected to pick up as the day proceeds.
Based on feedback from several people who have voted today, it is apparent that the earlier excitement seen during 2014 General Elections is missing and that there is no ‘wave’ for any party or leader.
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