As Voting day draws near, there is heightened pressure in the air as all parties try and push the envelope on what is and isn’t permissible during electioneering.
Sushil Kumar Modi, BJP’s prime candidate for the Chief Minister’s post, had an FIR filed against him for violating the Model Code of Conduct, as laid down by the Election Commission. He apparently made voter inducements during an election rally, wherein he promised 50,000 laptops to students, colour TVs, sarees and dhotis, if BJP came to power.
Coming from the ex-Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar and a potential candidate for the CM’s post, it was indeed surprising to see him make the announcement, knowing fully well that the Model Code of Conduct was in play. SK Modi, however, defended his statement stating that during elections it was normal for parties to inform people how they would benefit if their party came to power. While this may sound logical, the debate is an old one and has been extensively debated within the EC office but all parties flout rules before each election.
The EC office has clear guidelines on these and it is for parties to ensure compliance or face action as per law defined. In Sushil Modi’s case, this could become an embarrassment if BJP does come to power and he is seriously considered to take over the CM’s post.
Not to be left behind was Lalu Prasad Yadav, who had an FIR filed against him for making the ‘backward versus forward’ caste remark, during a poll rally at Raghopur. He had called upon his Yadav community to come together with OBCs in a fight to defeat the ‘forward’ castes. Although, Lalu Prasad Yadav is not standing for elections, as he faces a ban, the FIR could spell trouble for him, going forward.
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul plan hectic rallies starting 3 and 7 October, respectively
Congress will put in their effort for a Mahagathbandhan win with several rallies spearheaded by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
Starting 3 October, with a rally in Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur district in support of party candidate Sadanand Singh, Sonia Gandhi shall address four rallies through the campaining period. Kahalgaon goes to vote on 12 October. The same day, she will address another rally in Wazirganj in Gaya district, to promote Awadesh Kumar Singh. Wazirganj shall vote on 16 October.
After his return from the US, Rahul Gandhi will hit the campaign trail with a rally in Chenari in Rohtas District. This will be followed by a rally at Barbigha in Sheikhpura district, while his last rally for the day will be at Bachhwara in Begusarai district. On 26 October, he will hold rallies in Sitamarhi, East and West Champaran.
His final rallies will be held in the crucial Seemanchal region which has a sizeable Muslim population and where the Mahagathbandhan hopes to do well, given his secular credentials. Therefore, on 30 October, Rahul Gandhi will address rallies in Kathihar and Kishanganj districts of Seemanchal. As per the state unit of the Congress party, the rallies may be increased based on request from party candidates and alliance partners.
Nitish Kumar faces an embarrassing moment at his rally in Nawada
Nitish Kumar had an embarrassing moment that left him visibly upset when a section of people at a rally in Warisaliganj in Nawada district began chanting ‘Modi-Modi’ and waving slippers at him. There was total confusion for a brief while, as JD(U) and RJD party cadres chased out the miscreants. This could have turned ugly but was soon brought under control. Nitish Kumar asked the people to raise their hands in support if they wanted him to continue with the rally. Only after the people responded positively did he begin his speech. He spoke about the good work his government had done in improving infrastructure in Bihar and promised to do a lot more if his party was re-elected to power.
Education is a very important issue in Bihar as many students travel out of the state seeking higher education. He, therefore, spoke on his party’s plans to introduce a special credit card scheme for students from weaker sections that would enable them to get a loan up to Rs 4 lakh. He further promised opening more engineering and medical colleges in the state, besides more ITIs to promote vocational training.
Nitish Kumar is fully aware that he is the people’s choice for CM but also knows that he has an uphill task in convincing people to vote for the Mahagathbandhan, as the mood seems to tilt slightly in favour of the NDA, going by the results of several opinion polls. Also, with Narendra Modi returning back from a successful tour of the US, the Grand Alliance have to come up with more than just Modi bashing, if it wants to turn voter sentiment in its favour.
Politician in focus: Kaushalendra Kumar, JD(U) (Born 13 January 1959)
Kaushalendra Kumar is the sitting MP from Nalanda in the 16th Lok Sabha. He was born in village Haidarchak in Nalanda district in the house of Kameshwar Garai and Saraswati Devi. He studied B.A. from S.P.M. College – Udatpuri in Biharsharif and then pursued Agriculture at Kisan College – Sohsarai in Nalanda district.
He has worked as an agriculturist and social worker. Having joined politics he was elected as MP to the 15th Lok Sabha from Nalanda, a constituency vacated by Nitish Kumar, in 2009. He was re-elected to the 16th Lok Sabha in 2014.
Constituency in focus: Madhepura
Madhepura district is located in the Northeastern part of Bihar and was carved out of Saharsa district on 9 May 1981. Madhepura has Supaul and Araria districts located to the north, Purnia district to the east, Saharsa district to the west, and Khagaria and Bhagalpur to the South.
Madhepura district is spread over 1,787 sq km and has the river Kosi running through it. As per Census 2011, the total population is 20,01,762, of which males are 10,47,559 and females 9,54,203.
For administrative purpose, the district is divided into 2 Sub-Divisions, 13 Blocks and 13 Circles.
2010 Assembly Election Results
• Winner in 2010 Assembly Poll: Chandrashekhar, RJD
• Margin of win: 11,944 votes; 7.79% of total valid votes
• Runner-up: Dr Ramendra Kumar Yadav Ravi, JD(U)
• Male voters: 78,748; Female voters: 74,517; Total: 153,274
• Polling %: 59.37%
• Male Candidates who contested: 8; Female Candidates: 1
• Polling stations: 258
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