Bihar Elections: PM Modi steps up with 4 rallies today

2015 Assembly Election Rallies in Bihar

2015 Assembly Election Rallies in Bihar

With four days to go for the first phase of elections, PM Modi is stepping up the effort to make a last minute push with four public meetings planned today.

His first meeting is scheduled at 10 a.m. in Munger, Begusarai -11 a.m., Samastipur – 1 p.m., and Nawada – 2 p.m. All four go to polls on Monday, 12 October.

Tomorrow, the PM will address rallies in Sasaram at 10.30 a.m. and Aurangabad at 12.30 p.m. Both these constituencies go to polls in the second phase, on 16 October (Friday).

The first phase of voting will take place for 49 Assembly constituencies covering 10 districts, which include Bhagalpur (7 seats), Munger (3 seats), Banka (5 seats), Lakhisarai (2 seats), Nawada (5 seats), Samastipur (10 seats), Begusarai (7 seats), Jamui (4 seats), Khagaria (4 seats) and Sheikhpura (2 seats). The total number of polling stations will be 12,686. Counting will take place on 8 November.

Latest Pre-Poll Survey shows BJP-led NDA having an advantage

As per the latest pre-poll survey report released by Lok Niti-CSDS, the BJP-led NDA has an advantage of 4 percentage points over the Grand Alliance. The survey shows NDA getting 42 seats with the Grand Alliance bagging 38. The indication is that the race will be close as the difference can get wiped off due to several factors. The survey reveals that the NDA, and especially the BJP, has a distinct edge in urban areas where the trade, along with the upper castes, is in clear favour of the BJP-led alliance. The NDA has a 20 percent advantage in urban areas, whereas in rural areas, it has a narrow advantage of just 2 percent.

With just 15 percent of population living in urban areas, the real battle will be fought in the depths of rural areas and here a 2 percent advantage is too close to really indicate the trend. One must keep in mind that the survey was carried out in the last week of September and that was before the impact of Dadri reached Bihar. This incident is definitely going to impact the polls and any close trends now can change either ways.

Adding to the already complex equation is the influence of the Third Front led by SP that can be a spoiler before or after the polls, for either the NDA or Grand Alliance, whoever makes it to the podium and Mulayam Singh knows that. But here again, what was seen as an SP advantage especially with the Muslim voters in Bihar could possibly change on account of SP’s mishandling of the Dadri incident.

Make no mistake, the Muslim community is definitely insecure and upset over how events have unfolded the past week, turning from a tragic isolated murder into a highly politicised opportunity that has led to greater polarisation and communal tension and is threatening to go further out of hand. With just four days to go for the first phase of polls, this is definitely going to impact numbers for all parties.

The incident could well bring Owaisi’s AIMIM into play when just a fortnight ago, it had little influence in the Muslim concentrated Seemanchal area. Any swing at this stage could only be to the Grand Alliance’s disadvantage, as it is banking heavily on Muslim vote support.

Rahul Gandhi lashes out at PM in his rallies

Rahul Gandhi was busy holding public meetings in Begusarai and Sheikhpura yesterday. Lashing out at the PM for spending more time overseas than addressing the plight of poor farmers, Rahul Gandhi told the people of how the PM had changed 16 sets of clothes in his four day tour to the US. He said that the PM was conscious of his image and was always seen with people from the corporate world and bureaucrats who were in their ‘suit boot’.

He asked the people whether they had ever seen the PM mingling with poor people wearing torn clothes. Rahul Gandhi compared Modi’s high profile dressing with the humility and simple dressing of Nitish Kumar to make his point. He said that the PM was concerned about his image overseas than worry about the issues back home.

He also hit at the PM for failing to meet his pre-election promise of bringing back black money and putting Rs 15-20 lakh to each citizen’s accounts. He asked the people whether there was even a single person who had received the promised money.

Nitish Kumar challenges Modi to a public debate

Nitish Kumar is confident of his achievements as the CM and has challenged Narendra Modi to a public debate covering all the issues including the present beef controversy. Speaking at a rally yesterday, Nitish Kumar accused the BJP of trying to bring the beef controversy to Bihar and attempting to polarise the voters just before the elections. He said the BJP wouldn’t succeed as Bihar was more concerned about development issues than the beef controversy.

Responding to BJP’s constant barbs on his joining hands with Lalu Prasad, he said it was the duty of all parties who were opposed to the politics of BJP to come together to jointly oppose it otherwise the people of Bihar and the country would not forgive them.

BJP planning to expose Lalu-Nitish betrayal during Loktantra Raksha Diwas

11 October is Jayaprakash Narayan’s birth anniversary and the BJP is planning nationwide celebrations to highlight the JP’s contribution to preserving democracy and highlight his socialist ideals that have inspired members of BJP and several other leaders of today, across parties.

BJP is also planning to use the opportunity to highlight how Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar were leading supporters and activists during JP’s movement and how they had fought against the imposition of emergency by Indira Gandhi-led Congress government. They want to tell the people how Lalu-Nitish duo had betrayed Jayaprakash Narayan and Ram Manohar Lohia’s socialist ideals by now joining hands with the Congress.

The Loktantra Diwas celebrations will be inaugurated at Vigyan Bhavan and will include honouring of 800 people who had been arrested during the emergency under the draconian Maintenance of Internal Security Act – MISA.

Union Minister of State Upendra Kushwaha booked for unauthorised chopper landing

An FIR was registered against the Union Minister of State for HRD and RLSP leader Upendra Kushwaha for landing his chopper without permission at an election rally venue organised at Ammapaali village in Bhagalpur district. Apparently, the helicopter had permission to land at Pragati Maidan in Shermari Bazar but for some reason landed at a nearby venue at Ammapaali village. Since the landing was at an unauthorised location, it was a violation of the poll conduct rules laid down by the EC.