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Modi to begin NDA’s poll drive in Bihar on Oct 22

As the poll campaign for the first phase of election in Bihar on October 28 heats up, BJP’s national president JP Nadda will again go the State on Thursday for physical campaign rallies and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the main face of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), is expected to swoop down on the State for first series of electioneering from October 22, which, among others, include the Assembly seats of Buxar, Jehannabad and Bhagalpur.

BJP senior leaders, including party general secretary and  State-in-charge Bhupendra Yadav and  former Maharashtra Chief Minister and the campaign-in-charge Devendra Fadnavis, are drawing up plan for the Prime Minister’s rallies as he  is seen as the prime mover and shaker of voters in the State with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar facing the  anti-incumbency factor.

Modi’s rallies are expected to be held in Buxar, Jehanabad, Rohtas and Bhagalpur for the NDA candidates, beginning October 22. The Covid-19 conditions have put extra-pressure on the planners and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is carefully examining the details before giving a go ahead for the physical rallies.

With the pandemic still on surge, rallies ahead of the Assembly elections would be conducted with standard operating procedure and guidelines for safety. On Monday a Bihar Minister for backward and extremely backward class welfare Vinod Kumar Singh, 55, passed away due to post-Covid-19 complications.

The Prime Minster will also address poll rallies digitally, though number of physical and virtual public meeting is yet to be fixed, said sources, adding total addresses could be more than ten, according to party sources.

Bihar is one of the first of States in the country to go to polls under Covid-19 conditions. Physical rallies are increasingly turning “normal” with political leaders pulling out all full stops to attract voters who, this time, are not swayed by one particular issue or political personality.

BJP president is on a two-day tour of Bihar for electioneering from October 15 and to address rallies at Vikramganj, Karakat (Rohtas), Goh (Aurangabad) and on October 16 campaign in Barahat (Banaka), Hisua (Nawada) Assembly segments.

BJP launched its “Bihar Me Ee Ba” to showcase the infrastructure development in Bihar under the NDA regime. The BJP’s video song also mentions the opening of IITs, AIIMS, new bridges as well as improvement in the health and education sector. It talks about transforming Bihar cities into metros like Mumbai and Delhi.

Countering the BJP development plank, the rival alliance leader RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav is attacking the NDA Government for miserably failing as a job provider and developing the State. “What did their double-engine govt do in 15 years? It’s their attempt to divert from agenda but we want to contest election on agenda,” says Lalu Prasad’s son and his political heir apparent.

The elections in Bihar will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7 for the 243-seat assembly. In the first phase 71 constituencies, second phase 94 constituencies and in the third and last phase 78 Assembly constituencies would go to poll.

With voting for the first phase only two weeks away, the BJP is speeding up with the selection of candidates for the rest of the assembly segments, releasing names of 35 candidates on Wednesday.

Thursday, 15 October 2020 | Deepak K Upreti | New Delhi

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