Bihar: Voting for 94 seats begins, Tejashwi Yadav in fray
The second phase of Bihar's Assembly polls began today amid high-security and restrictions, levied considering the coronavirus pandemic. Raghopur in the Vaishali district is one of the 94 seats up for grabs today. The grand alliance's chief ministerial candidate, Tejashwi Yadav, is seeking a re-election from there, while his brother, Tej Pratap Yadav is contesting from Hasanpur in Samastipur district. Here are more details.
A number of key areas went into polls today, including capital Patna, West Champaran, East Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj, Siwan, Saran, Vaishali, Samastipur, Begusarai, Khagaria, Bhagalpur, Nalanda. A total of 1,463 candidates are testing their luck today, and the number of voters is 2.86 crore. The voting is being held across 41,362 polling stations.
The second phase is crucial for BJP, as the party has fielded candidates in 46 seats. Ally JD(U) is contesting 43 seats while VIP five seats. RJD and Congress are contesting 56 seats and 24 seats respectively, while LJP fielded candidates in 52 seats. There is a direct battle between BJP and RJD in 27 seats, and between BJP and Congress in 12.
Among the political stars who have already voted are LJP's Chirag Paswan, leading the fight against incumbent Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Tejashwi Yadav, and BJP's Sushil Modi. After casting his vote, Paswan said he can give in writing that Kumar would never lead the state again after November 10. "I will have no role to play, I want Bihar first, Bihari first," he said.
"In the last 15 years, Bihar has gone from notorious to pathetic. There is no improvement in the situation of migration, unemployment and floods. Teachers and children are living in gloom. Migrants from Bihar hesitate to call themselves Bihari. Democracy has given the opportunity to change its fate," Paswan tweeted.
Today, Tejashwi Yadav took to Twitter to share a letter he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Saying that all Biharis are happy that he is visiting the state again, Tejashwi Yadav re-upped the demand for a "special status" for the state. He also asked questions on unemployment and the migrant crisis, which ensued after the coronavirus-linked lockdown began in March.
आदरणीय प्रधानमंत्री जी, समस्त बिहारवासी पुनः आपके बिहार आगमन पर हार्दिक अभिनंदन करते है।— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) November 3, 2020
आपके नाम एक पत्र लिखा है। आशा करते है कि आप बिहारवासियों से विगत 6 वर्षों में किए गए वादों को भूले नहीं होंगे एवं उन्हें पूरा करेंगे। pic.twitter.com/PvismpqUB9
Besides Bihar, by-elections for 54 seats, spread across ten states, are also being held today. The most number of seats which went into by-polls are in Madhya Pradesh — 28 to be exact. The by-polls have turned into a prestige battle for ex-CM Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia, who left Congress in March to join BJP. Scindia's rebellion led to Nath's government's ouster.