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Bihar Election Updates 2015


Date: 08-11-2015
  • In the end most exit polls were widely off the mark, even the ones that had predicted a grand alliance victory in Bihar. For the margin of the RJD-JD(U)-Congress victory was so overwhelming — 178 out of 243 seats — that the reverberations shook the political landscape of the country. The BJP-led NDA could only manage 58 seats while others took the remaining seven. The grand alliance did well across the state including in urban areas where the BJP supposedly had an edge. The RJD bagged 80 seats, while the JD(U) got 71. The Congress did well to win 27 seats. From the NDA, the BJP won 53 seats. The other NDA allies, LJP, RSLP and HAM, could manage only five seats between them. Speaking after his famous victory, JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, who is all set to take oath as chief minister for the fifth time, said: “It is clear now that on the national level, people want a powerful opposition.” He added that people had “completely rejected efforts to divide them”. The other big winner of the day, RJD’s Lalu Yadav, said that the political battle would now be taken beyond Bihar. “Bihar results will have long-term impact on national politics,” Lalu said. “Bihar has given a new direction to the entire country.” Meanwhile, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pay heed to the “message” of the voters. He said Modi should “stop foreign tours and instead go and meet farmers, labourers and youth whom he promised jobs”. 

     

     
  • A clear mandate in favour of the Grand Alliance confirms Nitish Kumar as the new Chief Minister of Bihar. Addressing the media during the press conference, the JD (U) leader said that he will try his best to fulfil people's expectations.

    Lalu Prasad Yadav, the leader of the RJD that emerged as the single largest party in Bihar, said that the alliance will take Bihar to the national map. India Inc. also pledged its support to the Grand Alliance assuring that it will work closely with the new government to ensure investments.

     

  • Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee have congratulated Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar after the grand alliance's spectacular victory in the assembly elections. In a message on Twitter, Mamata said: “Congratulations @NitishKumar ji, Lalu ji & your full team. And all my Bihar brothers & sisters. Victory of tolerance, defeat of intolerance.” Meanwhile, Kejriwal tweeted: “Many, many congratulations for this historic victory.” Both Kejriwal and Mamata had come out openly in support of Nitish ahead of the Bihar elections and urged voters to cast their ballots in favour of the grand alliance. 

     
  • With the results of the Bihar assembly elections indicating a clear sweep by the Mahagathbandhan and placing Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav in the centrestage, the Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam claimed that the Rahul Gandhi is the architect of the victorious alliance. The Vice-President of the party, in a reaction to the results, said that the victory of the alliance has proven that a party cannot win elections by dividing Hindus and Muslims. He termed this as a victory over divisive forces.

     
  • As counting reaches its penultimate stage, the writing on the wall is clear: Nitish Kumar is going to be the chief minister of Bihar for yet another term. With the Grand Alliance leading in more than double the seats (157 against NDA's 75 at the time of writing), the BJP-led alliance is almost routed. However, with the possibility of JDU getting less seats than the RJD, Nitish Kumar might have a challenging time as the CM of Bihar.

     
  • It's clear now: Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav will win the Bihar assembly elections and the JD(U) leader will continue to be the chief minister. According to the trends available at 11am, the grand alliance is now ahead in 139 seats, leaving the NDA far behind at 92 seats. Perhaps the most spectacular performance has been RJD's, which may even emerge as the single largest party. 

     
  • In what is a dramatic reversal of trends, Election Commission results now indicate that the grand alliance may have nosed ahead of the NDA. However, there is still some confusion, with Rajya Sabha TV showing the grand alliance leading in 108 seats, just ahead of NDA's 106; while Lok Sabha TV says the NDA has a lead in 88 seats compared to grand alliance's 70. The crackers have fallen silent near the BJP offices in Patna, reports say.

     
  •  Early trends show that Nitish Kumar has taken a major hit since both RJD and Congress are doing better. Meanwhile, BJP workers are getting into celebratory mood outside the party office in Patna. However, it is to be seen whether BJP's lead will increase in the later rounds. It will be interesting to see whether remote rural seats can turn the tables in favor of the Grand Alliance.

     
  • A little over an hour into the counting and BJP-led alliance is ahead in 82 seats as compared to the 48 seats of the Grand Alliance. Initial trends suggest that the alliance is likely to get around 149 seats. According to Shekhar Gupta, the possible reason for this drubbing is the dissatisfaction among the people in the farthest corners of the state. While he thinks Nitish Kumar lost an opportunity, Prem Chand Gupta of RJD sounds optimistic. He is hopeful of a win because the gap between the two alliances is reducing.

     
  • The BJP-led NDA is set to form the next government in Bihar, the trends after the first hour of results clearly indicate. A little after 9am, the NDA is ahead in 78 seats while the JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance is way behind at 46 seats. Leads in 127 seats are now known, and the trends at this stage seem irreversibly in favour of the NDA.

     
  •  Although BJP has taken leads in more than 60 seats, JDU spokesperson K C Tyagi is not in favour of going by initial trends.  He is confident of getting 150 seats. According to experts, BJP is likely to win the race as if the current trend remains consistent. Out of the 97 seats, BJP leads in 61 and the Grand alliance is ahead in only 34.

     
  • BJP has said it is confident of victory in the Bihar elections. "We are absolutely sure of our win in Bihar. Women have voted in large numbers. Poor people want development and they have confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership,” union minister Parkash Javadekar said. The latest trends indicate that the BJP-led NDA has surged ahead in 56 out of 80 seats. 

     
  •  As counting of vote begins, Lalu Prasad Yadav's son Tejashwi takes lead in a seat currently held by JDU. Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi moves ahead of rivals in Makhdumpur constituency. BJP takes an early lead in 22 seats and Grand Alliance is ahead in four seats.

     
  • Counting of votes is underway in the 2015 Bihar elections. Initial trends indicate that the BJP-led NDA has taken early leads, and is ahead in 15 seats compared to the grand alliance which is ahead in 10 seats out of the 25 seats in which the trends are available so far. The entire nation's eyes are on Patna, and BJP supporters in the state capital have already started gathering in anticipation of a historic win. However, it's still early in the day and a more complete picture will emerge only by 10am

     
Date: 07-11-2015
  • Former Bihar chief minister and BJP ally Jitan Ram Manjhi has said that he expects his party, Hindustani Avam Morcha (HAM), to win at least 15 of the 20 seats it has contested in the assembly elections. “NDA will win with clear mandate,” the Mahadalit leader and HAM chief said. “I had made it clear to NDA that we are providing unconditional support to them in the Bihar elections.” Of the 243 seats in the assembly, BJP contested 160 seats, LJP 40 seats, RLSP 23 seats and HAM 20 seats. 

     
  • An exit poll by NDTV has predicted that the BJP-led NDA will win the Bihar assembly elections, getting 125 seats in the 243-member House, while the JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance will fall short with 110 seats. The poll had a very big sample size of 76,000 people in all 243 constituencies, according to the news channel. While union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the exit poll showed that Bihar had “voted for change”, grand alliance leaders disputed the predictions. The results of the Bihar election will be declared on Sunday. Other exit polls have been divided over the results, with a majority predicting a neck-and-neck contest. 

     


Date: 05-11-2015
  • Most exit polls have given the JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance a slight edge over the BJP-led NDA in the Bihar assembly elections, except for News 24-Today’s Chanakya, which has a dramatically different finding and gives the NDA a decisive victory. The exit polls were released on various TV channels after the fifth and final phase of polling ended on Thursday evening. Election results will be declared on Sunday. According to the News24-Today’s Chanakya poll, the NDA will get 155 seats while the grand alliance will get only 83 seats in the 243-member assembly. The C-Voter-Times Now exit poll has predicted 122 seats for the grand alliance and 111 seats for the BJP-led alliance. According to the India Today-Cicero post-poll survey, the BJP alliance may win 113-127 seats, while the grand alliance will bag between 111 and 123 seats. An exit poll by NewsX has predicted an outright defeat for the BJP, with the NDA winning only 95 seats, while the grand alliance has been given 130-140 seats.  

     

     
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has thanked the people of Bihar for their “overwhelming support”. In a message on Twitter, he said: “I thank the people of Bihar for their overwhelming support & blessings for the Mahagathbandhan.” Congratulating “the people of Bihar” on the huge turnout, he tweeted: “The spirit & power of democracy has won.” In a series of tweets after the end of the final phase of polling on Thursday, the JD(U) leader also praised the Election Commission and election staff “for their efforts in ensuring smooth & peaceful polling across all the 5 phases”. The JD(U) contested 101 seats in the Bihar assembly elections. Nitish Kumar is the chief ministerial candidate of the JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance.

     
  • RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav has said that the grand alliance will make a clean sweep in the Bihar elections, winning 190 seats, while “the BJP will win only 40 seats”. He also thanked the voters of Bihar for the record turnout. “The poor and backward classes of society are behind us,” Lalu said at a press conference after the fifth and final phase of polling was completed. “The entire state is agitated over RSS' remarks on reservations,” he added. He alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had used “abusive language against Biharis” and this would backfire on the NDA. The RJD contested 101 seats in the assembly elections.  

     

     
  • The fifth phase of polling in Bihar on Thursday saw a 59.46 per cent turnout, the Election Commission said. Polling ended at 5 pm in most constituencies.  Fifty-seven seats spread across nine districts -- Madhubani, Darbhanga, Supual, Madhepura, Saharsa, Araria, Kisanganj, Purnea, and Katihar  — went to the polls today. Exit polls are predicting a close contest between the BJP-led NDA and the RJD-JD(U)-Congress grand alliance. 

     

Date: 04-11-2015
  • A day before the last phase of polling in the Bihar assembly elections, the BJP has placed large advertisements in newspapers attacking Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for his “silence” on comments made by senior RJD leaders and others on beef-eating. “Stop vote bank politics and explain whether you endorse these statements,” the ad says. The ad also lists comments on beef made by various politicians including RJD chief Lalu Yadav and Karnataka’s Congress chief minister Siddaramiah. The ads have triggered a row, with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal jumping into the fray and questioning the BJP’s motives behind releasing them. Kejriwal has openly come out in support of chief minister Nitish Kumar in the Bihar polls. In a message on Twitter, Nitish thanked the Delhi chief minister for his “continued support and best wishes”.

     

     
  • As the final phase of campaigning for the Bihar election ended on Tuesday, chief minister Nitish Kumar warned voters to remain alert against “rumor-mongers” who may attempt to “stir communal passions by breaking idols or leaving dead pigs near religious places”. He asked voters to come out in large numbers and cast their ballots for the “self-respect” of the state. Repeating his campaign mantra, the JD(U) leader said: “You have to choose between a Bihari and a Bahari (outsider),” the latter a reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been the face of the NDA campaign. The final phase of polling for 57 assembly seats in the Mithilanchal and Seemanchal regions of the state will be held on Thursday. Votes will be counted on Sunday (November 8).

     

     
Date: 03-11-2015
  • Union home minister Rajnath Singh has attacked RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, blaming them for the state’s “backwardness”. “If Bihar lags behind other states in road, education, health and agriculture infrastructure, the blame squarely rests with Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar who have ruled the state for 25 years,” he said during an election meeting on Monday. The senior BJP leader accused Nitish of pursuing “casteist and communal politics”.

     
  • As campaigning for the Bihar elections draws to a close, chief minister Nitish Kumar will address seven election rallies on Tuesday to give a final push to the JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance campaign. The JD(U) leader will address rallies at Darbhanga, Gramin, Keoti, Jale, Hayaghat, Gaudabauram and Kusheshwar Asthan. The fifth and final phase will see polling in 57 constituencies in the state's Seemanchal and Mithilanchal regions on Thursday (November 5).  Campaigning for the fifth phase will end at 3pm in Mahishi and Simri Bakhtiyarpur assembly constituencies and at 5pm in the remaining 55 assembly seats on Tuesday, according to additional chief electoral officer R Laxmanan. Votes will be counted on November 8.   

     
Date: 02-11-2015
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said on Monday that it wasn’t the grand alliance but the BJP’s “guru" Mohan Bhagwat who had triggered the debate on reservations in the Bihar elections. Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark that he will answer the people after the NDA completes five years at the Centre, Nitish said that “after five years people of India will reject” Modi. Referring to the PM’s allegations that he had made a speech in 2005 in which he had spoken in favour of religion-based reservations, the JD(U) chief said that in that speech all he had said was there “should be no discrimination on basis of religion”. Nitish also sought to blunt Modi’s barbs on his meeting with a tantrik. Holding a picture of the prime minister meeting the famous astrologer Bejan Daruwalla, the chief minister said: “Modi ji has been raking up the issue of ‘tantra mantra’, but here he is showing his hand to an astrologer”.

     
  • In a counter-attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has repeatedly mocked Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for his meeting with a tantrik, the JD(U) has released a photograph and video of Modi's public meeting with the self-styled 'godman' Asaram Bapu, who is currently in jail in connection with a rape charge. It is believed that the video was shot when Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat. This comes as a photo of Modi’s meeting with well-known astrologer Bejan Daruwalla is also doing the rounds on websites and social media. During election rallies on Sunday and Monday, Modi took a swipe at the grand alliance by describing it as an alliance between Lalu Prasad Yadav’s “jungle raj” and Nitish Kumar’s “mantra-tantra”.

     

     
  • In an attack on his opponents that is set to trigger a fresh controversy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged on Monday that some leaders of the JD(U), RJD and Congress had links with the “Darbhanga terror module”. Modi was addressing an election rally at Darbhanga in Bihar ahead of the final phase of elections on Thursday. He urged people “not to vote for such leaders”. Taking a swipe at the grand alliance, Modi said they should tell the people of Bihar “who will become leader of opposition in Bihar -- Lalu’s son or Nitish?” The prime minister said by voting for NDA “Bihar will get rid of the disease of corruption”. Hitting out at the grand alliance for raising the issue of reservations, Modi said Lalu and Nitish “stopped talking after reservations after I exposed their double-speak and burst their reservation bubble”. He alleged that both leaders wanted to take away reservations from Dalits, tribals and other backwards and introduce religion-based reservation.“I’ve come to seek your vote on basis of development,” he said.

     
  • Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi told an election rally in Bihar on Monday that the BJP believed in the “politics of division and dividing one Indian against another”. Rahul, who was addressing a rally at Araria, said both the BJP-led NDA and grand alliance “knew that the NDA will lose” in the ongoing assembly elections. He said the grand alliance government would work towards development by taking along all sections of society. The Congress leader said Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had “changed the face of Bihar”, and the new RJD-JD(U)-Congress government would continue the “good work”. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi never mentioned “dal” in any of his speeches “though the price of dal had shot up from Rs 70 to Rs 200”. He said elections were being held in Bihar, but BJP leaders “were talking about Pakistan”. Referring to union minister VK Singh’s controversial “dog” remark on the Dalit killings in Haryana, he said “had it been a Congress minister, we would have sacked someone like him in 15 seconds”. But the BJP “takes no action against such persons”, he added.

     
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav at an election rally at Purnia in Bihar on Monday, saying that “instead of abusing me day after day, they should tell the people of Bihar what they’ve done for the state in the past 25 years”. He said the two leaders were “scared” as Bihar’s people were “very angry at their years of misrule”. Modi said during the 2010 elections, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had promised electricity for every household, but he “failed to fulfil the promise”. He said Nitish had become chief minister after Lalu’s “jungle raj” because the people of Bihar trusted Atal Bihari Vajpayee, referring to the alliance between the JD(U) and BJP. Modi also made an intervention on the “tolerance” debate raging nationally by raking up the 1984 Sikh riots. “After the slaughter of Sikhs, the Congress party and leaders had grave charges against them. Today, the Congress is giving lectures on tolerance. It should be ashamed of itself,” he said. Taking a swipe at the RJD and JD(U), he “thanked” Lalu and Nitish for giving 41 seats to the Congress in the assembly elections, saying the “NDA will win these seats without a fight”. On the development front, Modi stressed that the Rs 1.65 lakh crore central package to the state can “change the fortunes of Bihar”, adding that an NDA government at the state along with the one at Delhi will together “pull Bihar out of the mess it is in today”. He promised 24X7 electricity for the state and a new network of roads to connect different parts of Bihar and link the state to the rest of the country.

     
  • In a day of high-profile campaigning ahead of the fifth and final phase of polling in Bihar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address three election rallies in Purnea, Forbesganj and Darbhanga on Monday. In a message on Twitter, the prime minister said: “Today will campaign in Purnea, Forbesganj and Darbhanga. Looking forward to interacting with people & Karyakartas.” Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who is also addressing three rallies today, tweeted: “Campaigning today in Araria, Purnea and Katihar for the final phase of Bihar elections.” Meanwhile, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar will address rallies at Katihar, Supaul, Phulparas, Alinagar, Benipur and Bahadurpur on Monday. The fifth phase will see polling in 57 constituencies in the Seemanchal and Mithilanchal regions on Thursday (November 5). Votes will be counted on November 8.

     
Date: 01-11-2015
  • The fourth phase of polling in Bihar on Sunday saw a 57.59% turnout, chief electoral officer Ajay Nayak said. Polling ended at 5 pm in all 55 assembly constituencies except some Maoist-hit ones where it ended earlier owing to security reasons. Deputy election commissioner (in-charge of Bihar) Umesh Sinha described the voter turnout, which was 3% higher than the 2010 assembly elections, as a “record”.  The turnout recorded in the seven districts that went to the polls in the fourth phase was West Champaran 59.17%, East Champaran 59.96%, Muzaffarpur 56.83%, Sitamarhi 56.09%, Gopalganj 58.90%; Siwan 54.31% and Sheohar 56.05%. Female voters again outnumbered the men, with 60.40% women exercising their franchise compared with 54.20% men, according to the Election Commission. Nayak said the police opened fire and resorted to a “mild” lathi-charge at Rataura village in Raghunathpur constituency (Siwan district) where the atmosphere was tense after complaints of irregularities in polling. An FIR was lodged against the HAM candidate from Sheohar, Lovely Anand, for obstructing polling at booth number 50. Addressing an election rally today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “I assure you all, a BJP-NDA government will be formed on November 8”. Of the 243 assembly seats in the state, polls have now been held for 186 seats in the first four phases. Polling for the last phase will be held on November 5. Votes will be counted on November 8.  

     
  • Addressing an election rally at Katihar on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged that both RJD chief Lalu Yadav and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar had in July 2005 indicated that they were in favour of reservations for religious minorities. Modi in his speech, however, also sought to play the unity card by reiterating that “Hindus and Muslims should not fight against each other, but instead together fight against poverty”. He demanded that his opponents give their report card to the people of Bihar on what they had done for the state in the past 25 years. “But instead of doing that, they are busy abusing me,” he said. He added: “No matter how much muck they fling at me, the lotus will rise through it. Throw stones at me, and I’ll make a ladder of them to take Bihar to greater heights.” He said between them the Congress, RJD and JD(U) had “destroyed” the state in their total rule of 60 years. “We supported Nitish Kumar at one stage, but his arrogance made him lose every opportunity to make Bihar better,” the PM said.  Stressing that the NDA government at the Centre was pro-poor, Modi said thanks to the Jan Dhan Yojana, crores of poor people across the country had money in accounts for the first time. He said 4,000 villages in Bihar did not even have an electricity pole, and Nitish had “failed in his promise” to electrify the whole state by 2015. “I have taken it upon myself to bring electricity to every household in Bihar,” the PM said. “Nitish ji promised electricity to all houses. Electricity didn’t come, but Nitish babu has turned up to gather votes,” Modi said. 

     
  • Taunting the leaders of the grand alliance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the coming together of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar as an alliance between “jungle raj and tantra-mantra(mumbo-jumbo)”, the latter a reference to a video that shows Nitish meeting a tantrik. Modi was addressing an election rally at Madhubani, Bihar, on Sunday. He said the leaders of the grand alliance were “shivering with fear” as they were staring at “imminent defeat” in the assembly polls. “They tried to block my entry into Bihar during polling days and even tried to shut my ‘Mann ki baat’ radio programme, but the Election Commission dismissed their complaints,” the PM said. Mocking his opponents, he said a “tired and desperate” Nitish was “consulting tantriks”. Modi added: “I don’t believe in tantra-mantra, I believe in lok-tantra (democracy).” He said the crowds attending his rallies were even bigger than those during his 2014 Lok Sabha rallies in the state, which showed that “your love (towards me) has increased”. He said the large number of women attending his rallies indicated their desire for the state’s development. The prime minister said Bihar was in a “deep pit” because of the “misrule” by the RJD and JD(U), and “two engines” were needed to pull it out of this pit. “One engine is my government in Delhi, and the second engine will be an NDA government in Patna,” he said, urging the people to vote for the BJP-led NDA. He said Bihar stood for “brilliant, innovative, hard-working, action-orientated and resourceful”, and he had full faith in the capacity of Bihar’s people to “climb new heights of development”.  

     
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing three election rallies in Bihar on Sunday as campaigning picks up pace for the fifth and final phase of polling on November 5. The PM will address rallies at Madhubani, Madhepura and Katihar. With polling underway for the fourth phase on Sunday, PM Modi said on a message on Twitter: “Atmosphere in Bihar indicates people want change. People are seeing NDA as a ray of hope. Will campaign in Madhubani, Madhepura & Katihar.” Meanwhile, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is addressing rallies at Manihari, Balrampur, Dhamdaha, Rupauli, Alamnagar, Sonbarsa and Mahishi on Sunday. 

     
  • Polling for the fourth and penultimate phase of the Bihar assembly elections is underway in 55 assembly constituencies in seven districts -- East Champaran, West Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Gopalganj, Siwan, and Sheohar. Of the 55 seats, 12 are affected by Left-wing extremism. About 1.47 crore voters are eligible to cast their ballots and decide the fate of 719 male and 57 female candidates. The BJP had won 26 of the 55 seats in the 2010 assembly polls, while the JD(U), then a BJP ally, had won 24 seats. The RJD had won only two seats while independent candidates were victorious in the remaining three. This time, it’s a very different electoral battle, as the BJP and JD(U) have become bitter opponents. From the grand alliance, RJD candidates are contesting from 26 seats, JD(U) from 21 and the Congress eight. In the NDA, the stakes are high for the BJP, which has fielded 42 candidates in the fourth phase, while Lok Janshakti Party has fielded five, Hindustanti Awam Morcha four and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party four.

     
Date: 31-10-2015
  • Polling for the fourth and penultimate phase of the Bihar assembly elections will take place on Sunday. There are 776 candidates in the fray for this phase. The run-up to the fourth phase has been marked by a bitter exchange of words between the leaders of the grand alliance and BJP-led NDA. BJP president Amit Shah remarked at an election rally that if the grand alliance wins, there will be celebrations in Pakistan. His opponents accused him of polarising voters, and both camps complained to the Election Commission. About 1.47 crore voters are eligible to cast their ballots in 13,535 polling stations tomorrow.  

     
  • RJD’s rising star Tejashwi Yadav has hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that all the energy of the central government was “spent on building the image of the PM”. He said it was the country’s misfortune that Modi had become prime minister. Tejashwi, one of the two sons of RJD chief Lalu Yadav who are contesting the Bihar elections, said the BJP would accuse the then prime minister Manmohan Singh of being silent, but “why is the NDA government silent” about the issues facing the country now.

     
  • Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has told him to stop adding “communal” colour to the assembly elections. In a message on Twitter, Nitish said: “Modiji I’m ready to debate the issue of reservation with you anyday. Stop misleading people&your efforts to add communal color to BiharPolls”. Modi had earlier claimed that the grand alliance was planning to “snatch away” 5% quotas from the Dalits and EBCs and give it to a religious minority, which was widely seen as a reference to Muslims. The JD(U) leader also took a swipe at BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who questioned the presence of Nitish’s campaign ad on the website of the Pakistani newspaper Dawn. Rudy later deleted the tweet after he was mocked for his lack of understanding of how Google ads work. Nitish too joined in, urging Modi in a tweet to “teach his ministers the basics of Digital India”. The Bihar chief minister also posted an ad by the BJP featuring Modi that appeared on the website of Dawn in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. 

     
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar will address election rallies in Sikati, Thakurganj, Kochadhaman, Jokihat, Bihariganj, Raniganj, Simri, Bakhtiyarpur and Madhepura on Saturday. Campaigning for the fourth phase of the Bihar assembly elections ended on Friday. The fourth phase of polling will be held in 55 seats across seven north-central and north-western districts of the state on Sunday. The fifth and final phase of elections is scheduled for November 5. Votes will be counted on November 8. 

     
  • The Election Commission has banned two controversial newspaper ads by the BJP in Bihar after leaders from the JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance complained to the commission, saying that the BJP was promoting “lies and communal tension” in Bihar through the advertisements. The Election Commission ordered Bihar’s chief electoral officer Ajay Naik to ensure that the two advertisements are not published in any newspaper till the assembly elections are over. One of the ads claims that RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar were “snatching the plate of Dalits” by planning to transfer quotas meant for Dalits and EBCs to religious minorities. The other ad alleges that the leaders of the grand alliance were giving “sanctuary” to terrorists in order to appease a particular community — a veiled reference to Muslims.   

     
Date: 30-10-2015
  • Campaigning for the fourth and penultimate phase of the Bihar assembly elections ended on Friday evening. Polling for the fourth phase will be held on Sunday in 55 constituencies, which include 12 Maoist-hit ones. About 1.47 crore voters are eligible to cast their ballot and decide the fate of 776 candidates in the seven districts of Gopalganj, Siwan, West Champaran, East Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi and Muzaffarpur. Security measures have been stepped up, and the border with Nepal is being monitored. 

     
  • In one of his strongest attacks yet on Narendra Modi, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar accused the prime minister of using “divisive language” and warned that he may “lose” India while trying to win Bihar. “Astonished at Modiji’s brazen use of divisive language. In his desperation to win the losing battle of Bihar, I am afraid he might lose India,” Nitish tweeted. Modi has alleged in election rallies that way back in 2005, the JD(U) leader had spoken in favour of giving quotas to a particular community, a veiled reference to Muslims.

     
  • Stressing that the BJP-led NDA was committed to protecting the interests of the poor, Prime Minister Modi said that decades ago the then prime minister Indira Gandhi had claimed that the bank nationalisation she was carrying out would benefit the poor, but it was only since the NDA government had come to power last year that the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana had led to the opening of 17-18 crore bank accounts for economically backward Indians. “Many of these accounts have been opened in Bihar too,” he said. The prime minister was addressing an election rally on Friday afternoon at Muzaffarpur — his second rally of the day in Bihar. He also sought to explain the advantages of various central government pension and insurance schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana and Atal Pension Yojana. “If a rich man’s child falls ill, he can easily get private medical care, but if a poor man’s child falls ill, he has to depend on government hospitals, government doctors and government medicines,” Modi said, adding that an NDA government in Bihar would commit itself to working for the poor. Contrasting his government’s rule at the Centre with the UPA’s, he said that nobody could accuse him of “even a single paisa of corruption” in the last 16 months.

     

     
  • Bihar BJP leader Sushil Modi has appealed to the people of Bihar to not let Prime Minister Narendra Modi "get weakened”. He said: “If by any chance Modi is weakened, it will be to the advantage of the forces behind terrorism and countries like China and Pakistan”. Sushil Modi added that if “there is any person that China and Pakistan are scared of, it is Narendra Modi”. Sushil Modi also tweeted: “If BJP wins in Bihar there will be Diwali in India & if UPA wins there will be celebration in Pak.” BJP president Amit Shah had made similar remarks on Thursday. Meanwhile, the leaders of both the grand alliance and the NDA have filed complaints with the Election Commission against each other for communalising the Bihar polls. 

     
  • Addressing an election rally at Gopalganj in Bihar on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged that the intensity of abuses hurled by the leaders of the JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance was increasing every day. “The reason is they can’t digest the love given by the people of Bihar to me,” he said, adding that the “maha swaarth bandhan (grand selfish alliance) was indulging in a low level of politics”. Modi said Bihar was angry and asking the grand alliance for “a report card of their past 50 years of misrule” He said during RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s “jungle raj”, Gopalganj “had become a mini-Chambal and kidnappings and shootings were the order of the day”. This had forced the youth of Gopalganj to go outside the state and country to seek a livelihood. “Give me a chance to serve you,” Modi said. “I’ll stop this loot of Bihar.” The PM said Nitish Kumar’s ministers had been "caught on camera taking lakhs of rupees in bribe", but the Bihar chief minister had taken no legal action against them. He said he was fully confident that the BJP-led NDA would form the next government in the state with two-thirds majority. 

     

     
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar will be addressing election rallies in Bisfi, Benipatti, Babubarhi, Laukaha, Nirmali, Triveniganj and Singheshwar on Friday. Hitting out at the BJP-led NDA on Thursday, Nitish said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was desperate for an NDA victory not for the sake of good governance but because he wanted “absolute authority” to run the country. Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah will be addressing a total of five rallies in Madhubani and Darbhanga districts on Friday. Polling for the fourth phase on Sunday will take place in the seven districts of East Champaran, Gopalganj, Muzaffarpur, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Siwan and West Champaran.

     

     
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address two election rallies in Bihar on Friday, ahead of the fourth phase of polling on Sunday. The PM’s rallies will be held at Gopalganj and Muzaffarpur districts. The BJP-led NDA will be hoping to gain ground in the fourth phase as the grand alliance has an advantage in the final phase (on November 5) given the strong Muslim and Yadav votes in the constituencies that will go to the polls in the fifth phase.

     
  • BJP president Amit Shah’s “Pakistan” comment during an election rally in Bihar on Thursday has triggered a row, with rival parties accusing the BJP of trying to polarise voters. Addressing a rally in Raxaul a day after the third phase of polling in the state, Shah said: “If by any chance the BJP loses this election…crackers will be burst (in celebration) in Pakistan”. The JD(U) accused the BJP of “communalising the campaign”. Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said this was an “old practice” of the BJP. “They always wanted to play this communal card to win elections,” he said. Polling for the fourth phase of election, spread across 55 assembly constituencies, will be held on Sunday (November 1). Reports indicate that with only two phases of polling remaining, RSS cadres have begun to play a prominent role in canvassing, and the BJP is falling back on a Hindutva strategy to counter the consolidation of Muslim and certain caste votes in favour of the grand alliance.  

     
Date: 29-10-2015
  • Union finance minister Arun Jaitley expressed confidence on Thursday that the BJP-led NDA was all set to form the next government in Bihar with two-thirds majority owing to the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi among other factors. “PM Modi’s popularity remains intact and people still have faith in him as reflected in his rallies with large gathering,” Jaitley said at a press conference in state capital Patna, adding that Modi was one of the main factors which would take the NDA to “two-thirds majority” in the assembly polls. Besides the PM’s popularity, people wanted the same alliance in power at the Centre and state to boost Bihar’s development, and a third factor leading to an NDA victory was the “opportunistic” alliance of the JD(U), RJD and Congress which lacked a development agenda, the senior BJP leader said.

     
  • Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election rally in Bihar, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi accused the ruling BJP at the Centre of following a “Plan B” of divide and rule and spreading communal tension by “making Hindus and Muslims fight one another”. He was addressing a rally at Madhubani on Thursday, ahead of the fourth phase of elections which will be held on Sunday. “The PM makes false and misleading statements wherever he goes,” Rahul said. “Sometimes Modi calls grand alliance leaders ‘tantrik’ and at other times he calls them ‘three idiots’, but the voters are not fools.” The Congress leader said the “BJP’s defeat is inevitable in Bihar”. The Congress is contesting a total of 41 seats in the assembly elections, while its allies JD(U) and RJD are contesting 101 seats each in the 243-seat House.

     
  • JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav has hit out at the BJP, saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was using diversionary tactics after his “failure” to fulfil promises such as creating jobs for youth and getting back black money stashed abroad, made before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He told an election rally in Bihar that the common man was reeling under the high prices of essential commodities such as dal. He said Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had laid the foundation for the development of the state, and urged people to vote for the grand alliance.

     
  • Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will address election rallies in Madhubani, Kishanganj and Katihar in Bihar on Thursday, ahead of the fourth phase of polling on Sunday (November 1).  Voting in the fourth phase will take place in 55 constituencies spread across seven districts — East Champaran, Gopalganj, Muzaffarpur, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Siwan and West Champaran. JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar and BJP president Amit Shah are among the other top leaders addressing election rallies in Bihar on Thursday. The Bihar chief minister is addressing rallies at Kalyanpur, Parihar, Bajpatti, Belsand, Kurhani and Paroo, while Shah is addressing multiple rallies at Siwan, Bagaha and Motihari.  

     
  • AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi was arrested on charges of violating the model code of conduct of the Bihar elections but later released on bail in the state’s Purnia district. Owaisi was allegedly making a poll speech at a religious place when he was arrested and booked for holding a public meeting without prior permission from authorities and under the Loudspeaker Act. The AIMIM leader, however, claimed that he had only gone there to offer prayers and not for campaigning. He was later released after submitting a personal bond of Rs 10,000 as bail amount. 

     
  • Has the relatively higher turnout in the third phase of Bihar elections (compared to the 2010 assembly polls) given the BJP-led NDA an upper hand? We will know for sure only on November 8 when the votes are counted, but reports indicate that the mood in the NDA camp is optimistic after Wednesday as the BJP has a strong support base in many of the constituencies covered in the third phase. The 53.32% turnout was about 3 per cent higher than 2010. In the 2010 elections, the BJP had won 20 of the 50 constituencies which went to polls yesterday. However, the party was then an ally of the JD(U). Now, BJP strategists believe that the pro-development image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will work to the NDA’s advantage in these 50 seats. Of the remaining two phases, the NDA will be hoping to do well in the fourth phase on Sunday as the final phase on November 5 is likely to go in favour of the RJD-JD(U)-Congress grand alliance given the strong Yadav and Muslim vote in those constituencies. 

     
Date: 28-10-2015
  • The third phase of polling in Bihar on Wednesday saw a 53.32 per cent turnout, Chief Electoral Officer Ajay Nayak said. Polling ended at 5 pm in all constituencies except 10 Maoist-hit ones where it ended at 4 pm owing to security reasons. Fifty seats spread across six districts -- Patna, Vaishali, Saran, Nalanda, Buxar and Bhojpur – went to the polls today. RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s sons Tej Pratap and Tejaswi Yadav were among the candidates in the fray today. Tejaswi Yadav said the RJD-JD(U)-Congress grand alliance will “win with a comfortable margin”. Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad expressed confidence that the NDA would win around 40-42 seats out of the 50 seats in the third phase. Of the 243 assembly seats in the state, polls have now been held for 131 seats in the first three phases. Polling for the remaining two phases will be held on November 1 and November 5. Votes will be counted on November 8.

     
  • Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that the Bihar election was not “not about conventional arithmetic”, in an indirect reference to the combined voter appeal of the RJD and JD(U). He said people from all sections of the state were with the BJP and the party was in a position to sweep the state. Jaitley said he felt there was a disparity between the ground reality of the election and the media’s portrayal of it, adding that “people’s aspirations” was the main issue in the polls.   

     
  • Senior Bihar BJP leader Sushil Modi has said that the RJD, JD(U) and Congress were in a “state of panic due to the fear of Narendra Modi ji”, which is why they had formed a grand alliance for the Bihar assembly elections. Sushil Modi, who cast his vote early on Wednesday at Rajendra Nagar, Patna, alleged it was RJD chief Lalu Yadav, and not the prime minister, who had brought down the level of debate during campaigning by using “derogatory words like nar pisaach and narbhakshi”. He said which alliance comes to power was more important than the question of who will become chief minister. He said the campaigning for the assembly elections was about to draw to a close, but chief minister Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav “had not yet shared a stage”. Sushil Modi, a former deputy chief minister, is among the frontrunners for the CM’s post if the NDA wins the polls.

     
  • The third phase of elections are underway in Bihar, with 9.12 per cent polling recorded till 9am. The state saw a record 57 per cent turnout in the first phase and 55 per cent turnout in the second phase. Of the 50 seats going to the polls today, 23 were won by JD(U) last time, while the BJP, then a partner of the JD(U), had won from 19 seats. The RJD had won eight. RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s sons Tej Pratap and Tejaswi Yadav are both in the fray today. Tej Pratap is the RJD candidate from Mahua. His younger brother, Tejaswi, is contesting from Raghopur. Polling is also being held at Nalanda, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s home turf. Voting on Wednesday began at 7 am and will end at 5 pm in all constituencies except 10 Maoist-affected seats where polling will end an hour earlier, according to the Election Commission. More than 1,100 companies of para-military forces and state police have been deployed to ensure peaceful voting in the six districts of Patna, Vaishali, Saran, Nalanda, Buxar and Bhojpur.  

     

     
Date: 27-10-2015
  • A livid RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using “indecent language” as he found himself in a “hopeless situation” in the ongoing Bihar assembly elections. Lalu was referring to Modi’s remark during a rally on Sunday when he called the RJD leader's daughter Misa “bechari”. Modi’s language “exposes not just his hopelessness but also the BJP’s growing restlessness”. The PM had said that Lalu had unsuccessfully tried to get his “bechari beti” (helpless daughter) “set” (elected) in last year’s Lok Sabha elections. Misa had lost the electoral battle from Pataliputra parliamentary constituency against the BJP. Lalu said Modi had “insulted women and nari shakti (female power) by using highly indecent and offensive words”.  

     
  • The Congress has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of stoking "communal polarisation" in Bihar as the BJP was staring at a “big defeat” in the assembly elections. Speaking at an election rally on Monday, the PM had accused the leaders of the grand alliance of “conspiring to take away 5 per cent reservation of Dalits, Mahadalits, backwards and extremely backwards” and hand it over to a “particular community”, which was seen as a reference to Muslims. Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said Modi was “habitual” when it came to attempts at “communal polarisation during elections”. Sharma added that these were “desperate attempts” by PM Modi, who is “comfortable with lies”.

     
  • Union finance minister Arun Jaitley has said that the outcome of the Bihar assembly elections will not be a referendum on the central government. He, however, added that the BJP would sweep the third and fourth phases of the polls. The senior BJP leader said the 81 seats that went to the polls in the first two phases haven’t been traditional strongholds of the BJP but the party was still “ahead of its rivals”. The election results will be declared on November 8 after five phases of polling. 

     
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the ongoing Bihar elections as a contest between the “developmental” agenda of the BJP-led NDA and the “opportunistic” agenda of the JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance. The PM was addressing an election rally in the state’s Sitamarhi district. He said on the occasion of Valmiki Jayanti “hundreds of people have come here to support me”. Stressing his commitment to serving the nation, Modi said he had not taken a single leave in the 16 months since he had become prime minister. “Even if my sewa (service) doesn’t reflect on TV or in newspapers…I can still see it here in the crowds,” he said. He said this election would decide the fate of Bihar. “You have to decide whom to trust for your future,” he said, adding that only “development” can change the future of Bihar’s residents. He once again took a swipe at Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar over the tantrik video, asking the crowd if they wanted “mantra-tantra (mumbo-jumbo) or lok-tantra (democracy)”. Bihar can't be “taken back to the 18th century,” the prime minister said.

     
  • After West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted her support for JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar in the ongoing Bihar elections, it is now the turn of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to do the same. In a message on Twitter, Kejriwal said: “I appeal to the brothers n sisters of Bihar to vote to make Nitish ji the CM of Bihar”. The Bihar chief minister was quick to thank the AAP leader, and tweeted: “Thank you Arvind Ji for your support & best wishes.”  

     
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address election rallies at Sitamarhi, Bettiah and Motihari in Bihar on Tuesday. Yesterday, Modi claimed at a rally that the grand alliance was "conspiring" to give a slice of quotas meant for Dalits and other backward communities to “religious minorities”. The third phase of elections, covering 50 assembly seats, will take place tomorrow (October 28).  

     
Date: 26-10-2015
  • Campaigning for the third phase of assembly elections in Bihar ended on Monday. Polling will be held on Wednesday (October 28) in 50 assembly constituencies spread across six districts of Patna, Vaishali, Saran, Nalanda, Bhojpur and Buxar. In the first two phases of polling, 81 seats have been covered. Several top leaders of both the BJP-led NDA and the RJD-JD(U)-Congress grand alliance including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi addressed election rallies on Monday. Caste politics, sting operations and promises of development marked the third phase of campaigning. A controversial comment by union minister VK Singh on the Dalit killings in Haryana provided ammo to the grand alliance to attack the NDA government at the Centre. On the other hand, a video showing chief minister Nitish Kumar meeting a tantrik was exploited by the BJP to raise questions over the conduct of the JD(U) and RJD leadership, in the run-up to the third phase.

     
  • Addressing an election rally at Motihari in Bihar on Monday, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ignoring the concerns of the underprivileged sections of society. “The PM wears bright suits and travels across the world, but has no time to meet poor farmers and Dalits,” he said. He urged Modi to “stop lying and start working”. “Modi had promised to bring back black money from abroad, but has he fulfilled his promise?” Rahul said. “Did any one of you get any money in your bank accounts?” The Congress leader alleged that a communal environment was being created in the country under the NDA rule and Indians were being made “to fight each other”. He also referred to the controversial remark by General VK Singh on the Dalit killings in Haryana, saying that a grand alliance government in Bihar “will not be a government that equates Dalits with dogs”. “We will provide security to one and all,” Rahul said. “There will be no suit boot ki sarkar.” He said after winning Bihar, the Congress and its allies “would throw away the BJP from all states one by one”.

     

     
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that the grand alliance was misleading the people of Bihar on the issue of reservations. Modi, who was addressing an election rally at Buxar, alleged that the RJD, JD(U), Congress and some other parties were hatching a “conspiracy” to introduce religion-based reservations which would take away a slice of quotas meant for Dalits and other backward communities. Modi said “five per cent reservations” meant for Dalits, Mahadalits and extremely backward castes “will be given away to other religious communities” if the grand alliance comes to power. He said he would “protect their quotas with his life”. Modi said that just like the first green revolution started in Punjab, “the second green revolution must start in Bihar”. If only western parts of India develop, the country can’t develop as a whole, he said. “India’s eastern parts, including eastern UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Orissa and the north-east must progress too.” Taking a swipe at the Congress, the PM said that the 41 seats being contested by the party in Bihar were “a gift to the NDA”. He said the Congress had ruled Bihar for 35 years and “destroyed” the state. “But instead of giving an account of its misrule, it was asking questions from the Modi government,” he said. Referring to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s claims of providing computers to youngsters, Modi said the computers would be infected with the “Lalu virus”. “Our aim is to take Bihar to new heights of development,” he said. “But the grand alliance is only focussed on abusing me.”  

     
  • The BJP has released a video purportedly showing a JD(U) lawmaker accepting a Rs 2 lakh bribe in a sting operation. The video shows Satyadev Kushwaha, a legislator from Arwal district, taking the cash and demanding more while promising to help a person who posed as a businessman. The ‘businessman’ asks if another five to six lakh rupees would do. Kushwaha allegedly replies: “haan chalega (will do)”. BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav, who posted the video on his Twitter account, said it exposed the corruption in the JD(U). This is the second video purportedly showing a JD(U) leader accepting bribe. In a video released before the first phase of polling, former Bihar minister Awadhesh Prasad was shown allegedly accepting money from a businessman to contest polls. Awadhesh was forced to resign. The BJP has also released a video showing Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar meeting a tantrik. On Sunday, taking a swipe at the CM, Prime Minister Narendra Modi repeatedly referred to him as “Lok-tantrik Nitish ji”, while addressing election rallies in Bihar.

     
  • Stepping up the campaigning ahead of the third phase of elections in Bihar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will address rallies on Monday. Modi will address four rallies at Chhapra, Hajipur, Bihar Sharif and Patna. Rahul is addressing three rallies at Valmiki Nagar (West Champaran), Govindganj (East Champaran) and Riga (Sitamarhi). Meanwhile, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is addressing rallies at Paliganj, Arrah, Maner, Masaurhi, Harnaut and Bihar Sharif on Monday; while BJP president Amit Shah is hitting the campaign trail with rallies at Bagaha, Motihari and Muzaffarpur. More than 800 candidates are in the fray for the third phase of elections for 50 assembly seats. This phase will see polling in the state’s Saran, Vaishali, Nalanda, Patna, Bhojpur and Buxar districts on Wednesday (October 28).

     
Date: 25-10-2015
  • Speaking at an election rally at Nalanda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to reassure people that there was no change in the NDA’s policy towards reservations. “Rights given by Babasaheb Ambedkar for socially backward classes will never be taken away by my government,” Modi said at the rally in Bihar. The PM’s statement comes after a controversy was triggered by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comments on the need to take a re-look at quotas.

     
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has said that the NDA has become “mentally disturbed” and was feeling hopeless after the first two phases of elections. He said the prices of pulses keep rising, but the Modi government keeps saying “acche din ayege (good days are coming)”. The CM added: “Prices of pulses have increased everywhere, but two union ministers addressed a press conference and said I am responsible for this.” The JD(U) chief was addressing an election rally at Hajipur on Sunday. “Bihar’s youth are brilliant, but I’ve observed that they feel inferior as they think they can’t speak in English,” he said. “We will free Bihar’s youth from this inferiority complex.” 

     
  • West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has urged Bihar’s voters to cast their ballots in favour of JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar. In a message on Twitter ahead of the third phase of elections in Bihar, Mamata said: “Request you all in Bihar to please vote to re-elect NitishKumar ji as CM for greater need of our country & development in State”. The endorsement of the grand alliance by the TMC leader is significant as West Bengal will itself go to the polls next year, and the BJP is trying to consolidate its position in the state.

     
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the people of Bihar have to decide if they wanted to end “jungle raj” or not. Modi, who was addressing an election rally at Hajipur, said development was the only way to end the jungle raj. Touching upon the issue of prices of pulses, he alleged that large quantities of pulses had been recovered from all parts of the country, but the Nitish Kumar government was not ready to question hoarders in the state. Taking a swipe at RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, the prime minister said: “Those who eyed fodder earlier are now staring at pulses”. He said the mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) was the “mahaswarthbandhan (grand selfish alliance)”. Alleging that the RJD-JD(U)-Congress alliance was very opportunistic, he said Nitish had previously been a huge critic of Lalu. “I recently read a love letter by Nitish Kumar written to his elder brother Lalu Yadav in which he had abused him; you all must read it.” Modi is addressing four election rallies in Bihar on Sunday. The Hajipur rally was the second of the four rallies. 

     
  • Addressing his first election rally of the day at Chapra in Bihar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that “the wave from Leh-Ladakh is now reaching Bihar”, referring to the BJP’s victory in the Ladakh council election. Modi said Ladakh is dominated by minority communities and the people there “placed their faith in BJP”. He said Bihar will celebrate two Diwalis this year, and the first one will be on November 8 (the day of the results). He alleged that despite ruling Bihar for 25 years, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar were “yet to present any report card of their work”. He said the duo could no longer “fool the people of Bihar”, adding that the youth of Bihar had “woken up”. The PM added that the NDA was completely focussed on development and providing power, roads and water to the people of Bihar. Modi also took a swipe at Lalu and Nitish over the tantric video showing the JD(U) leader that was released by the BJP on Saturday. “Now I know that there are not three but four players in this mahagatbandhan: Laluji, Nitishji, Soniaji and tantric,” Modi said. “Laluji, please change the name of your party to Rashtriya Jadoo-Tona Dal.” The video clip released by BJP leader Giriraj Singh shows Nitish visiting a tantrik to seek his blessings. In the video, the tantrik also raises slogans against Lalu. The footage is believed to have been shot during the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign.   

     
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is addressing seven election rallies in Bihar on Sunday. The rallies are being held at Amnour, Vaishali, Mahua, Mahnar, Raghopur, Hajirpur and Patna Sahib. The first two phases of the assembly elections are over. The last three phases will be held on October 28, November 1 and November 5. Counting of votes is scheduled for November 8. The main contest is between the BJP-led NDA and the grand alliance comprising JD(U), RJD and Congress.

     
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address four election rallies in Bihar on Sunday as the BJP steps up its campaign ahead of the third phase of polling on October 28. In a message on Twitter, Modi said: “Bihar is all set for change. Phenomenal enthusiasm for NDA. Will address rallies in Marhaura, Hajipur, Nalanda and Sona.” Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, union finance minister Arun Jaitley said the BJP-led NDA had a “clear lead in the elections so far” and he had no doubt that the alliance would form the next government in Bihar.  

     
Date: 24-10-2015
  • Addressing an election rally at Chhapra in Bihar on Saturday, BJP president Amit Shah urged people to vote for the NDA to ensure development of the state. “You gave 15 years to Lalu, 10 years to Nitish,” he said. “Now give five years to the BJP. We will make Bihar the no. 1 state of the country.” Polling will take place in 50 seats in the third phase of elections on October 28. If the BJP-led NDA wins the Bihar elections, it will consolidate both Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s and Shah’s position in the party. 

     
  • Seeking to put an end to the controversy over union minister VK Singh’s "dog” remark on the Dalit killings in Haryana, union finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday that the former army chief had already clarified and apologised and “the topic is over”. Jaitley was addressing the media in Patna, the capital of Bihar, which is in the middle of a crucial assembly election. The grand alliance has tried to play up VK Singh’s remark, and accused the BJP of being anti-Dalit. Describing Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s model of development as “primitive”, Jaitley said it lacked “long term goals”. The finance minister said he had full confidence that an NDA government would come to power to ensure a “bright future for Bihar”. “We will leave no stone unturned to win,” he said.  “JD(U) which earlier fought against corrupt parties is now forced to stand with them due to the opportunistic mahagatbandhan,” Jaitley said. 

     
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address 17 election rallies in Bihar spread over six days, beginning Sunday. The schedule for these rallies was given in ads placed by the BJP in various newspapers, reports say. So far Modi has addressed nine rallies in the state. The NDA has not declared a chief ministerial candidate, and the PM and BJP president Amit Shah have been the face of the campaign. But in the middle of the elections, other Bihar NDA leaders also started appearing in posters and banners, triggering speculation over the BJP’s poll strategy. 

     
  • Reports from Bihar’s Madhepura district say that hundreds of trees have been cut down, uprooted or chopped to clear the area for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election rally on November 1. An environmental activist was quoted as saying that trees of several species including fruit-bearing ones were cut down for the election rally. Two phases of the assembly elections have been completed. The remaining three phases are on October 28, November 1 and November 5.

     
  • Is the general guilty of friendly fire in the battle for Bihar? Reports from the state suggest that General VK Singh’s insensitive “dog” remark on the Dalit killings in Haryana may hurt his party, the BJP, in the ongoing assembly elections. The condemnation has been swift, unanimous — and not just from NDA opponents like Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav. BJP’s allies in Bihar such as union minister Ram Vilas Paswan and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi have been forced to distance themselves from the statement, with Manjhi even urging Prime Minister Modi to take “strong action” against the former army chief. What makes Paswan’s and Manjhi’s reactions significant is that they are among the tallest Dalit leaders of Bihar. Having them in the NDA has been a trump card for the BJP, which is trying to shake off its upper caste image. Dalits constitute about 15 per cent of Bihar’s population and a perceived anti-Dalit statement — even if made in distant Haryana — is bound to worry the NDA. Perhaps that’s the reason why union home minister Rajnath Singh felt the need to intervene and urge BJP leaders to be “extra cautious before making any statement”. 

     
  • BJP president Amit Shah is addressing four election rallies in Bihar on Saturday. The rallies will be held at Taraiya, Raghunathpur, Goriyakothi and Baikunthpur. Campaigning has again picked up pace after the Dussehra festival as the state heads for the third phase of elections on Wednesday (October 28). There are more than 800 candidates in the fray for 50 assembly seats in six districts of Bihar for the third phase. The BJP is contesting from 34 seats.  Addressing a rally yesterday, Amit Shah accused RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and chief minister Nitish Kumar of doing “forward vs backward politics”. The BJP, on the other hand, wanted to make “backward Bihar a forward state in development”, he said. 

     
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar will be addressing rallies at Sikta, Chanpatia, Ramnagar, Bagaha, Govindganj, Lalganj, Digha and Bankipur on Saturday. Campaigning for the third phase of assembly elections in Bihar on Friday, Nitish took a swipe at the “Gujarat model of development”, saying that Gujarat had the largest population of malnourished women and Bihar did not need to follow a model of a state that "cannot properly feed its own female population”. 

     
Date: 23-10-2015
  • Anant Singh, a jailed Bihar legislator, has been booked for threatening a police officer, reports say. A sub divisional police officer from Barh (Patna district) lodged a complaint against Anant -- who is lodged in Bhagalpur Central Jail -- for allegedly threatening him over the phone. Anant, who belongs to the Bhumihar caste, is contesting as an independent candidate from Mokamah assembly constituency after resigning from the JD(U). He was arrested in June in connection with a kidnapping and murder case. A court has given him permission to contest the polls.

     

     
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has slammed union minister VK Singh’s controversial remarks on the Dalit killings in Haryana, saying they reflected the mentality of the NDA.

    Nitish was addressing a rally at Muzaffarpur on Friday, ahead of the third phase of elections on October 28.

    He said people voted a BJP government to power in Haryana, and what was the result? “Dalit children were burnt alive,” he said, adding that those who talk about ‘jungle raj’ in Bihar should reflect on what’s happening in BJP-ruled Haryana.

    “A central minister compared the burning alive of two Dalit children to stoning dogs,” the JD(U) chief said. “Such statements show what kind of mentality they have.”

    Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark at Muzaffarpur that there was something wrong with Nitish Kumar’s DNA, the JD(U) leader said if that were the case “why did the NDA support me when I was chief minister for 10 years?”

     
Date: 22-10-2015
  • General VK Singh’s controversial remarks on the Dalit killings in Haryana have created a ripple effect in Bihar. General Singh, a former army chief, while commenting on the murder of the two Dalit children, said: “If someone throws stones at a dog, the government is not responsible.” Slamming the remarks, JD(U) leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar tweeted: “Aghast at the senseless comment made by some BJP leaders including Union Minister on tragic Dalit killings in Haryana.” The significant Dalit vote is crucial for all political parties in the ongoing Bihar assembly elections. Nitish’s ally and RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav also took to Twitter to hit out at the former army chief, saying: “What VK Singh has said is the core ideology of the BJP. The people who abuse Dalits and backward classes the most, are seen as big leaders by the RSS and BJP.” Describing General Singh’s statements as “irresponsible and insensitive”, JD(U) spokesperson Ajay Alok said the grand alliance did not need to make it an election issue in Bihar as “the BJP are doing it themselves”. Meanwhile, VK Singh’s cabinet colleague and Bihar Dalit leader Ram Vilas Paswan said there should be no “politicking” over the Haryana killings, and urged General Singh to refrain from making such statements. Paswan earlier said that the BJP-ruled Haryana government was “totally answerable” for the attack on the Dalit family.

     

     
  • Actress-turned politician Hema Malini has said that RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav will have to wait till November 8 to know the verdict of the Bihar electorate. The BJP MP was reacting to Lalu’s remark that even she would not be able to thwart her party’s defeat in the assembly elections. While addressing a rally, the superstar of yesteryears said Bihar had got a “bad image” because of certain politicians, and urged the crowd to vote for the BJP-led NDA to usher in “all-round development of the state”.

     
  • The Bihar verdict will settle the issue of quotas in favour of reservation beneficiaries permanently, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav has said. He said the issues of both “social disparity and development” were important in the ongoing Bihar assembly elections. He said by pressing the “right button”, people will ensure that nobody will be able to remove reservations. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks on the need to revisit reservations has made quotas an issue in the Bihar polls. 

     
  • With three phases of elections remaining in Bihar, is the JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance shifting its campaign focus to the prices of pulses, which are at a historical high in the country? Accusing the Modi government of following “anti-farmer and anti-consumer policies”, JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi said the “main course of the debate has shifted from issues like intolerance to the rising prices of dal”. Tyagi said the grand alliance will ‘nail the Centre’s lie’ that chief minister Nitish Kumar was in some way responsible for the rising prices of essential food items. He accused union food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan and union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh (both of whom are leaders from Bihar) of “attempting to mislead voters” and called for their resignation.  He added that pulses were being sold at more than Rs 200 per kg in BJP-ruled states Maharashtra, MP, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Tyagi blamed the high prices of pulses across the country on “the mismanagement of the NDA government”. 

     
  • Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will hold three election rallies in Bihar on October 26, ahead of the third phase of elections on October 28. While two rallies will be held at West Champaran district, one will be held at Sitamarhi, the Congress said. The Congress is contesting from 41 seats in the state while its allies JD(U) and RJD are contesting 101 seats each. In the first two phases, 81 out of the total 243 constituencies have gone to polls. The remaining three phases will see polling in 162 seats.   

     
Date: 21-10-2015
  • Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi has accused JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav of shedding “fake tears” over the vicious attack on a Dalit family in Haryana in which two children were killed. “The Faridabad incident is condemnable, but the RJD supremo Lalu Prasad has conveniently forgotten that during his party’s 15 years' rule in Bihar, hundreds of dalits were massacred,” Sushil Modi said in a series of tweets. When the RJD government was in power, 58 Dalits were killed at Laxmanpur Bathe village in the state's Arwal district, 21 others were killed at Bathani Tola village in Bhojpur district and 34 at Miyapur village in Aurangabad district, the former deputy chief minister said.

     

     
  • In the third phase of assembly elections in Bihar, 26 out of 34 candidates fielded by BJP, 13 out of 47 candidates of the BSP, and 13 out of 18 candidates of the JD(U) have assets in crores of rupees. Similarly, five out of seven candidates from Congress, 20 out of 25 candidates from RJD, 16 out of 31 candidates from SP, 13 out of 24 candidates of JAP(L), seven out of 10 candidates of LJP and 52 out of 276 Independent candidates have declared assets of more than Rs 1 crore. The average asset per candidate for the third phase is Rs 2.40 crore.

     
  • RJD chief Lalu Prasad has said that this Dussehra will see the political elimination of the “evil” BJP in Bihar. The counting of votes for the assembly elections are due on November 8. “Dussehra is celebrated to honour Lord Rama for killing the demon army led by Ravana,” Lalu said. “We are going to do the same by ensuring BJP’s defeat.” He said the BJP had already lost the plot, and that’s why Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s posters were being changed. Accusing the BJP and RSS of raising communal temperatures in the country, he said the people of Bihar wanted “peace and communal harmony”.  

     
  • As the battle for Bihar enters the third phase on October 28, the attacks by rival politicians on each other are becoming increasingly personal. Targeting Lalu Prasad Yadav, BJP leader and possible chief ministerial candidate Sushil Kumar Modi mocked the RJD chief for his poor educational background. “He (Lalu) could not even provide education to his own sons,” Sushil Kumar said. “What good will he do to the sons of Bihar?” The third phase of polling will cover 50 assembly constituencies. 

     
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is addressing election rallies at Madhubhan, Kalyanpur and Pipra on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the war of words between Nitish and the central government over the soaring price of pulses has escalated. After union ministers Radha Mohan Singh and Ram Vilas Paswan, who are both MPs from Bihar and part of the NDA's election campaign, held the state responsible for a fall in dal production and failing to utilise a special central fund to check prices, Nitish Kumar has bit back. The chief minister tweeted that “instead of responding to the situation created by their own inaction & incompetence GoI shamelessly tries to blame states”. The JD(U) leader also put up a table purportedly showing that Bihar was not the only state where the price of pulses was high, with an accompanying tweet: “Sharing the prices of Dal across states which suggests that the problem is not state specific but rather national."

     
Date: 20-10-2015
  • Rashtriya Janadhikar Party(RJP) chief Pappu Yadav has claimed that no government can be formed in Bihar minus the support of the third front. He said both the BJP-led NDA and the JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance were unlikely to get a majority. After he was expelled from the RJD, Yadav joined the six-party alliance led by Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi Party. However, the NCP later declared that it won’t remain part of the third front. A controversial lawmaker, Yadav was acquitted earlier this year in a 1998 murder case.

     
  • The Election Commission has asked its officials to ensure deployment of central para-military forces at all polling stations during the last three phases of assembly elections in Bihar for free and fair voting. Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and election commissioners AK Joti and Om Prakash Rawat told district magistrates and senior police officers to make sure the directive is followed. Doing so would “instil confidence among voters, especially those belonging to the weaker sections”, Zaidi said. Expressing satisfaction at the conduct of the polls so far, Zaidi said the number of complaints about preparation of electoral rolls had been negligible.  

     
  • Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will hold election rallies in Bihar on October 26, October 29 and November 2, reports say. The Congress is contesting 41 seats in the assembly elections, while its allies JD(U) and RJD are contesting 101 seats each. In the third phase of elections on October 28, the Congress is contesting from seven seats. 

     
  • Of the 808 candidates contesting for 50 seats in six districts of Bihar for the third phase of assembly elections, 215 (27%) have declared criminal cases against themselves, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). While 17 (68%) RJD candidates out of 25 face criminal charges, 21 (62%) BJP candidates out of 34 face criminal charges. For the JD(U), 10 (56%) out of 18 candidates face such charges. Three (43%) out of seven Congress nominees and four (40%) out of 10 LJP candidates have criminal records. The record for smaller parties is not much better either.

     

     
  • Jan Adhikar Party(JAP) president Pappu Yadav sustained minor injuries after a portion of his stage collapsed at Naranga village in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district, reports said. He was addressing an election rally in the village, which is part of the Parihar assembly constituency. Overcrowding on the stage led to its collapse, and Yadav and some party members suffered minor injuries. The JAP is part of the third front that also includes Samajwadi Party, NCP, Samajwadi Janata Party, National Peoples Party and Samras Samaj Party.  

     
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar will address six election rallies on Tuesday ahead of the third phase of polling. The JD(U) leader’s rallies will be held in Islampur, Nalanda, Rajgir (Nalanda), Mokama, Barh and Fatuha (Patna). The third phase of polling on October 28 will cover 50 assembly constituencies. While 57 per cent polling was recorded in the first phase of elections, the second phase saw a turnout of 55 per cent.  

     
Date: 19-10-2015
  • JD(U) president Sharad Yadav has said the grand alliance will benefit if Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses more election rallies in Bihar. More Modi rallies will "give us advantage in the assembly polls "he said. He added that dal, not beef, was the main issue in the assembly elections, referring to the sky-rocketing prices of pulses. Poor people are being “forced to eat rice and bread without pulses because of the spiralling prices,” Sharad Yadav said. 

     
  • Representatives of various political parties have met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and election commissioners AK Joti and Om Prakash Rawat to demand a series of steps to ensure that the ongoing assembly elections in Bihar are free, fair and peaceful. Their demands and suggestions include deployment of central paramilitary forces at booths, maintaining communal harmony during the festive season, checks on announcements by ministers that can be seen as inducement to voters, and monitoring of paid news.

     
  • BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj has again been in the news for the wrong reasons. He was quoted as saying that Bihar needed "immediate surgery" for "its cancer", and if the NDA loses in Bihar the loss will be the state's, not Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s or party president Amit Shah’s. However, speaking to another section of the media, Sakshi Maharaj was later quoted as saying that the NDA would form the next government in Bihar and win "more than a two-third majority". 

     
  • Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief and former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has said that “no one can fiddle with reservations” as long as the Indian Constitution exists. Referring to Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks on the need to re-look at reservations, Manjhi said the RSS chief’s statement had been projected negatively. HAM, a constituent of the NDA, is contesting 20 seats in the Bihar assembly elections. Under the seat-sharing agreement, BJP will contest 160 of the 243 seats in the Bihar assembly, LJP will contest 40 and RLSP 23.  

     
  • BJP leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain has described the grand alliance as a group of  "power hungry" parties given their "conflicting" roles in reference to the Bhagalpur riots. Hussain said the riots took place during Congress rule and RJD’s Lalu Prasad Yadav "brazenly protected the perpetrators" when he came to power after the 1989 elections, while chief minister Nitish Kumar got the riot cases re-investigated. Despite their contrasting stances, the three parties had joined forces in an opportunistic alliance, the BJP leader alleged. Hussain also took a swipe at Nitish for "worrying about the entire country and giving unsolicited advice to Prime Minister Narendra Modi". 

     
  • Asserting that development was the primary issue in the Bihar assembly elections, BJP president Amit Shah said that the BJP-led NDA will win 32-34 seats in the first phase of elections and 22-24 seats in the second phase.

    A combative Shah, who was addressing a press conference in state capital Patna, told the media: “We know what our agenda is (development), what is yours?” He said statements on beef and reservations were being highlighted to “take the focus away from the party’s development agenda.”

    Shah refused to answer a query on the Hindu Mahasabha, saying he was the BJP chief.

    Regarding RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks on reservation, Shah stressed that there was no change in the BJP’s reservation policy. “BJP has given many OBC chief ministers. We have even given an OBC prime minister,” he said. “We support the backward classes and the poor”. He alleged that some people were trying to “distort the party’s message in Bihar”.

    Shah said that if a Nitish Kumar-led alliance comes to power, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav will “run it through remote control”. He said Bihar’s youth were forced to leave the state for a livelihood, and Bihar  was still very backward on many fronts. An NDA government would work to change that, the BJP chief said.

     
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is addressing six elections rallies on Monday. The rallies will be held at Asthawan, Rajgir, Islampur, Hilsa, Bakhtiyarpur and Phulwari Sharif.  The third phase of polling on October 28 will cover 50 assembly constituencies. Some political analysts believe that the controversial comments by some members of the BJP and RSS over beef-eating and the killings linked to allegations of cow-slaughter in recent weeks in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir have given the RJD-JD(U)-Congress alliance another issue to corner the BJP-led NDA with. Nitish Kumar is the declared chief ministerial candidate of the grand alliance. The NDA has not declared its candidate.  While 57 per cent polling was recorded in the first phase of elections, the second phase saw a turnout of 55 per cent.  

     

     
Date: 18-10-2015
  • Taking a swipe at the Narendra Modi government, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said in a message on Twitter that while dal had “disappeared from the common man’s plate”, the union ministers of agriculture and consumer affairs had “disappeared from Delhi”. The central government has come under criticism for the sky-rocketing prices of pulses which show no signs of falling down. Meanwhile, Nitish also sought to remind people through Twitter that both union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh and the minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution Ram Vilas Paswan had been absent from New Delhi for long periods as they were busy campaigning for the Bihar assembly elections.

     

     
  • The Congress has said that the cancellation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election rallies in Bihar together with the inclusion of state BJP leaders on banners and posters that had earlier been dominated by Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, indicated that the BJP-led NDA's defeat in the assembly elections was inevitable. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the BJP had "seen the writing on the wall" and was now trying to insulate its two top campaigners from the "disastrous result, which is bound to follow". 

     
  • BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha has denied reports that he was "sulking", adding that he would attend those BJP meeting where he is invited. He said he had decided not to create more controversy given all his “good wishes and warm feelings” for the BJP. The actor-turned politician is not part of the campaigning for the Bihar assembly elections. He said some local BJP leaders had "become over ambitious".  

     
  • The BJP has dug out a letter purportedly written by Nitish Kumar way back in 1992 in which he had accused RJD chief Lalu Yadav of promoting caste-based politics instead of fighting for social justice. The BJP placed full-page ads in leading local newspapers in Bihar carrying excerpts from the letter, with the title "Gathbandhan ka sach (truth behind the grand alliance)". "Social justice has become merely a slogan to garner popularity," the letter says, referring to Lalu. According to the ad, this is the "foundation" of the grand alliance. “Now, you (voters) have to make a choice”, the ad says.

     
  • The BJP has dared Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to make his opinion on various scams, such as the fodder scam in which RJD chief Lalu Prasad is convicted in, public. Union minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad described Nitish as an "epitome of opportunism". He demanded to know the JD(U) leader’s take on “various scams such as Bitumen scam, 2G, Common Wealth Games, Coalgate". In its election campaign, the BJP-led NDA has repeatedly focussed on the return of “jungle raj” if the grand alliance comes to power.  

     
  • Stepping up the grand alliance campaign ahead of the third phase of elections, Bihar chief minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar is addressing seven election rallies in the state on Sunday. The rallies will be held at Rajpur, Dumraon, Brahampur, Shahpur, Agiaon, Bikram and Danapur. The third phase of polling on October 28 will cover 50 assembly constituencies. Some pundits believe that the controversial comments by some members of the BJP and RSS over beef-eating and the Dadri lynching incident in the middle of the Bihar polls has given the RJD-JD(U)-Congress alliance an unexpected issue to corner the BJP-led NDA with in the remaining phases.

     
  • Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi along with two election commissioners will take stock of the preparations for the remaining phases of the Bihar assembly elections over the next two days. The trio will hold detailed discussions with state and police officials and meet with representatives of political parties as well. The election expenditure management will also be reviewed, reports say. On Monday, the commissioners will go to Muzaffarpur to review poll preparedness there. They are expected to address a press conference at Muzaffarpur. The first two phases of polling have been completed. While 57 per cent voting was recorded in the first phase, the second phase saw a turnout of 55 per cent. The third phase is scheduled for October 28.

     

     
Date: 17-10-2015
  • BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha has sought to blame party leaders in Bihar for the "cancellation" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election rallies. In a series of tweets on Saturday, Sinha, said: "A situation that led our star campaigner PM to cancel his Bihar rallies at the last minute…sending a negative message???". Sinha, who is believed to be upset with a section of the party leadership, tweeted that he hoped and wished that “despite some teething troubles and electoral problems, we do as well as we expected” in the Bihar polls. The actor-turned-politician had earlier taken to Twitter to express concern over the rising prices of pulses.

     
  • Congress president Sonia Gandhi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of ignoring Bihar’s development. She was addressing an election rally at Buxar in Bihar on Saturday ahead of the third phase of elections scheduled for October 28. She said the Congress would not allow the GST bill to pass in the Rajya Sabha, “for the good of the people”. Sonia Gandhi said the PM spoke a lot, but did not deliver. She urged Modi to understand “the pain and suffering” of poor people. She also sought to remind the prime minister that Hindus and Muslims did not fight on their own but were “made to fight”, adding that if communal polarisation ends, “some people will be out of business”. The Congress president slammed the NDA government at the Centre for being silent on issues such as rising prices of pulses, youth unemployment and farmer suicides. The Congress, which is part of the grand alliance, is contesting 41 out of the 243 assembly seats in Bihar. Its allies RJD and JD(U) are contesting 101 seats each. Besides Buxar, Sonia Gandhi had another election rally at Manjhi on Saturday.

     
  • Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s "acche din" promise, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has said that the country’s exports were at an all-time low. "Forget acche din, Modiji, at least bring back our old days,”"Nitish tweeted. The JD(U) leader is addressing election rallies at Ekma, Baniyapur, Chapra, Garkha, Amnour, Raghupur and Phulwari on Saturday. The second phase of polling for the Bihar assembly elections was held in six districts on Friday. The next phase of polling is on October 28.

     
  • Taking potshots at Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani for her remarks on the law and order situation in Bihar, chief minister Nitish Kumar asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make her the union home minister. He said she had "no knowledge of the issue” but was still speaking about it. He asked Irani to “say why Centre has cut funds for the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan?” Irani had earlier told women voters that voting for the Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance in the assembly elections would mean a return to “jungle raj” in Bihar.

     
  • In what appears to be a change of tactic in the middle of the Bihar assembly elections, the BJP has started giving more visibility to its state leaders. Till now, the state’s landscape was dominated by hoardings and posters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. But since the past few days, posters with prominent photographs of local state leaders as well national-level leaders from Bihar including Sushil Modi, Giriraj Singh and Nand Kishore Yadav are frequently seen. Reports indicate that in the remaining phases of election, BJP strategists want to focus on what the NDA has to offer in terms of development and governance rather than a negative campaign targeting the Nitish-Lalu-Congress grand alliance.

     
  • An FIR has been registered against the director of Patna’s Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport, Rajendra Singh Lahoria, for violation of the election code by permitting posters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah to be put up in the airport premises during the assembly elections. According to the Patna district magistrate, the FIR was registered under sections of the Defacement of Property Act. A show cause notice was issued to Lahoria for concealing rules that bar putting up of election posters and banners in the airport premises at the time of elections. 

     
Date: 16-10-2015
  • The second phase of polling for the Bihar assembly elections saw a 55 per cent turnout on Friday, with voting taking place in 32 constituencies across six districts, 3 per cent higher than the 2010 assembly polls. Like in the first phase, female voters outnumbered their male counterparts. While the women turnout was 57.5 per cent, the number of male voters stood at 52.5 per cent in the second phase. The district-wise turnout was Jehanabad 56.49 per cent, Gaya 55.54 per cent, Aurangabad 52.5 per cent, Rohtas 54.66 per cent, Arwal 53.21 per cent, and Kaimur 57.86 per cent. All the six districts are Maoist-affected areas, but the polls were peaceful with no incidents of violence reported. In view of the Maoist threat, polling ended at 3 pm in 11 constituencies, at 4pm in 12 constituencies, and at 5 pm in the remaining nine. Three phases of the five-phase elections remain, and will be held on October 28, November 1 and November 5. Votes will be counted on November 8. Several pre-election opinion polls have predicted a close contest between the BJP-led NDA and the RJD-JD(U)-Congress grand alliance.  

     
  • RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav narrowly escaped from a potentially serious injury when a ceiling fan crashed on him, brushing his right arm and spilling the tea from the cup he was holding, during an election meeting at Motihari on Friday. Shockingly, the former chief minister was pointing to another wobbly overhead fan above the dais and announcements were being made calling for an electrician when the fan fell down. The incident raises questions about the RJD’s preparation for rallies involving its top leadership as it comes just days after a stage Lalu was on collapsed. Luckily, the RJD chief escaped unhurt on both occasions. Reports say that an angry Lalu gave the security personnel and organisers an earful after Friday’s mishap. 

     
  • As the war of words between the NDA and grand alliance escalates amid the ongoing Bihar assembly elections, BJP leader Sushil Modi has slammed RJD chief Lalu Prasad for his purported comments that referred to gurdwaras. "By describing his imprisonment as akin to a visit to a gurdwara, Prasad has insulted Sikhs and must apologise for the same without any delay," Sushil Modi said in a statement. The BJP leader claimed that Lalu had described a jail as a “place like a gurdwara which one must visit” for one’s life to be meaningful. He accused the RJD leader of “glorifying” crime and corruption, and warned people about the perils of voting for the grand alliance.

     
  • Delhi chief minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal has said that the BJP-led NDA was all set to lose the Bihar assembly elections, and Nitish Kumar will continue to occupy the CM’s post. "As per my information, Modiji is losing Bihar elections badly,” Kejriwal tweeted. “Nitishji is winning the polls.” 

     
  • The first four hours of polling in the second phase of assembly elections in Bihar have seen a 29.9% turnout. District-wise the polling percentages till 11am are Jehanabad 26%, Gaya 35.4%, Aurangabad 33.1%, Rohtas 29%, Arwal 27.4% and Kaimur 28.5%. All the six districts are Maoist affected areas. The polling has been peaceful so far. Except for a few instances of EVM machine malfunction, the polling is going smoothly. One of the most keenly watched battles is at the Imamganj reserved SC seat, where former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi is up against the outgoing assembly Speaker Uday Narain Chaudhary. Nearly 1,000 companies of central paramilitary forces and state police have been deployed to ensure peaceful voting in the six districts, including 334 companies in Gaya, 201 in Rohtas and 193 in Aurangabad.

     

     
  • The second phase of polling for the Bihar assembly elections started at 7am. Some 86 lakh voters will decide the fate of 456 candidates across 32 constituencies in six Maoist-affected districts. Voting is underway at 9,119 polling stations in Kaimur, Rohtas, Arwal, Jehanabad, Aurangabad and Gaya districts.  Given the security concerns, voting will end at 3pm in 11 constituencies, at 4pm in 12 constituencies, and at 5pm in the remaining nine. The battle for Bihar is essentially a contest between the BJP-led NDA and the JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance. 

     
Date: 15-10-2015
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has again warned that the BJP plans to end reservations for SCs, STs and backward classes if it gets the required numbers in the Rajya Sabha, and urged people to be cautious.

    During an election rally on Thursday, the JD(U) leader said if the NDA wins in Bihar “it would help them improve their position in the upper house…to make changes in the Constitution.” He added that the BJP will also try to make changes to the land acquisition law if it improved its Rajya Sabha strength.

    Nitish also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for calling him “arrogant”, saying that such a charge will not stop him from “showing them the mirror”. The CM urged people to maintain communal peace and be cautious of elements trying to create tension ahead of Dussehra and Muharram. He also took potshots at the prime minister’s smart cities plan, saying that under a grand alliance government, villages in Bihar will have all amenities and there will be no need to look towards smart cities.    

     
  • Union minister Smriti Irani has said that the large female turnout in the first phase of the Bihar assembly elections was good news for the BJP-led NDA. She urged women to come out in even greater numbers in the remaining four phases. Thanking women for voting in large numbers in the first phase, she said this reflected “their craving for development and change”. Irani told women to vote for the NDA to avoid the “spectre of jungle raj” returning to Bihar, adding that law and order had deteriorated under the leadership of Nitish Kumar.    

     
  • A day after the JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance appealed to the Election Commission to order the removal of all banners and posters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah from the premises of the Patna airport, the action was carried out by airport authorities. The grand alliance had said that the posters and banners were a “flagrant violation” of norms. Meanwhile, additional chief electoral officer R Lakshmanan has said that the Election Commission will question airport officials over why the posters and banners were allowed in the first place.

     
  • Food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who has been campaigning in Bihar for the ongoing assembly elections, has denied charges that by staying away from Delhi he was neglecting the ongoing pulses crisis. The cost of dal has shot up in many parts of the country, making it unaffordable for the common man. Paswan, who is the president of the Lok Janshakti Party and a prominent politician from Bihar, said his ministry was talking “all possible measures” to tackle the situation, adding that officials were meeting on a daily basis and keeping him informed. Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh has also been camping in Bihar. Meanwhile, Bihar chief minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar has said that “a lot of central ministers” were campaigning in Bihar and “not concerned” about the plight of farmers and rising dal prices.  

     

     
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cancelled three election rallies scheduled for Friday in Bihar, according to media reports. The PM’s October 16 rallies were to be held at Buxar, Hajipur and Paliganj. The BJP has, however, denied that any rally was scheduled for October 16. Since the third phase of elections is on October 28, the party strategists may have felt it a little early for the PM to address the rallies. The fate of 456 candidates will be decided in the second phase of polling tomorrow.

     
  • The Election Commission has cut short the voting time by up to two hours in 23 constituencies that go to polls on Friday in the second phase of the Bihar assembly elections, keeping in view the threat perception from Left-wing extremists. The 32 seats in the second phase are all in Maoist-affected districts of Jehanabad, Arwal, Gaya, Rohtas, Kaimur and Aurangabad. Only nine of the 32 seats will see voting from 7am to 5 pm; 12 constituencies will have voting till 4 pm, and the remaining 11 till 3 pm, according to additional chief electoral officer R Lakshamanan. Security forces are using camera-fitted drones along with helicopter surveillance to check possible Moist attacks. 

     
  • Authorities in Bihar have seized more than Rs 17 crore in cash, more than 800 kg of ganja, about one lakh litres of liquor and more than 8 kg gold in the state so far as part of the Election Commission’s drive to stem attempts to influence voters. Candidates have been asked to open a separate bank account for their election-related expenses for greater transparency. The second phase of polling will be held tomorrow. Campaigning for the second phase ended on Wednesday evening. Voting will be held in 32 constituencies spread across Kaimur, Rohtas, Aurangabad, Gaya, Jehanabad and Arwal districts.  

     
  • The BJP has described the Bihar assembly elections as a contest between "hope and despair". Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav had come together "only to stop Narendra Modi". He added, "This despair is of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad." Ravi Shankar Prasad said Prime Minister Modi wanted to ensure Bihar’s progress and development — that’s why he had announced a Rs 1.25 lakh crore package for the state. He said there was “a big wave” in the BJP’s favour.

     
Date: 14-10-2015
  • Campaigning for the second phase of the Bihar assembly elections ended at 5 pm on Wednesday. Voting will be held in 32 constituencies spread across six districts of Kaimur, Rohtas, Aurangabad, Gaya, Jehanabad and Arwal on Friday. According to the Election Commission, 456 candidates are in the fray for the second phase. There are 85,86,704 voters in the 32 constituencies, including 45,71,805 male and 40,14,585 female voters, and 8,849 polling stations in this phase. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar addressed five rallies in the state today. He said the grand alliance was contesting the polls on an agenda of “good governance and development”. Security has been stepped up ahead of the second phase as many of the constituencies have a Maoist presence. The remaining three phases of polling will be held on October 28, November 1 and November 5. Results will be declared on November 8.

     

     
  • The JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance has urged the Election Commission to order the removal of posters and banners of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah from Patna airport, calling them a “flagrant violation of norms”. A delegation comprising JD(U)’s KC Tyagi, Congress’ RPN Singh, RJD’s Manoj Jha and the lawyer KTS Tulsi submitted a memorandum to the chief election commissioner giving details of the banners and posters. They told the commission that airports and railway stations were being used by the BJP for “its propaganda”. Public places “cannot be allowed to be used and, worse, monopolised by the party in power” they said.  

     
  • The police in Bihar have recovered a live bomb weighing 25 kg which was placed under a bridge in Aurangabad district’s Dhangai area, reports say. The police believe Maoists placed the bomb there. Aurangabad is one of the six districts that go to the polls in the second phase of elections on Friday (October 16). Several constituencies in the second phase have a Maoist presence. Security forces are using camera-fitted drones along with helicopter surveillance to keep a lid on possible Left wing extremist attacks. More than 50,000 personnel of paramilitary forces who were deployed in the first phase have been redeployed in sensitive Maoist-affected areas. In terms of the Maoist threat, the second phase is crucial, just like the first phase. The last three phases are in areas relatively free of Left wing extremism.   

     
  • Former CM Rabri Devi campaigned for her sons in the villages of Mahuwa constituency of Hajipur. Lalu’s both sons will be contesting the polls in nearby constituencies of Hajipur. The elder son will be contesting from Mahuwa while the younger son will be battling from Raghopur.

     
  • RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav escaped unhurt after a part of the dais at his election rally collapsed at Madhuvan Maidan in Bihar’s Arwal district on Tuesday. Many RJD workers fell down as a result, reports said, but Lalu was on the other side of the dais. The cave-in was attributed to over-crowding on the platform. Lalu, who was addressing the rally in support of local RJD candidate Ravindra Singh, later joked that “nothing bad happens to good people like me”. 

     
  • BJP national spokesperson MJ Akbar has said that Bihar will witness a “kamal kranti (lotus revolution)” over the next five years after the BJP wins a “decisive mandate” in the assembly elections. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “fervent call to the people to exercise their franchise” has resulted in an “upsurge” of voter turnout in the first phase, which saw a record 57 per cent polling for 49 seats. Akbar said the people of Bihar were yearning for a change of guard to put the state on the path of development. 

     
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is addressing five election rallies in the state on Wednesday. The rallies will be held at Belaganj, Bhabua (Rampur), Chenari (Alampur), Karhagar and Dinara. The JD(U) leader is the chief ministerial candidate of the grand alliance that also includes the RJD and Congress. The second phase of polling in Bihar will take place on Friday (October 16). A total of 458 candidates are in the fray for the second phase of elections for 32 assembly seats, spanning the six districts of Kaimur (Bhabhua), Rohtas, Arwal, Jehanabad, Aurangabad and Gaya. The JD(U) is fielding 13 candidates for the second phase. On Tuesday, in a strong attack on Narendra Modi, Nitish had tweeted that the prime minister was “[r]attled by imminent defeat in Bihar”. 

     
Date: 13-10-2015
  • BJP president Amit Shah said the NDA would form the next government in Bihar with a two-third majority. Shah was addressing a rally at Nokha, Sasaram on Tuesday. He said he was confident that chief minister Nitish Kumar would submit his resignation to the governor when the results are announced on November 8. The BJP president said BJP-ruled states had seen the fruits of development, but Bihar had lagged behind. He asked people whether they got 24 hours power in villages or had easy access to hospitals and education. “You must go to the BJP-ruled states and see (such development),” he said. He said BJP governments always took development to farmers, backward castes, Dalits and Mahadalits. Shah also appealed to people to vote for the local BJP candidate Rameshwar Chaurasia.

     
  • Police resorted to a lathicharge to control the crowd gathered at a BJP rally at Nalanda in Bihar on Tuesday. The crowd got restless after Hindi film actor Ajay Devgn, who was due to address the rally at Bihar Sharif, failed to turn up, reports said. The first phase of elections saw 57 per cent polling on Monday. The second phase will be held on Friday.

     
  • Chief minister Nitish Kumar is addressing six election rallies in Bihar on Tuesday. The rallies are being held at Ramgarh (Kaimur), Mohania, Karakat, Nokha (Rohtas), Imamganj and Ghosi (Gaya). The JD(U) and RJD are fielding 13 candidates each for the second phase of polling on October 16, while the third constituent of the grand alliance, Congress, is fielding the remaining six candidates. In a message on Twitter, JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar thanked the voters, and especially female voters, for the heavy turnout in the first phase of polling. The first phase on Monday saw a record turnout of 57 per cent. Women voted in larger numbers (59.5 per cent) than their male counterparts (54.5 per cent).  

     
  • BJP president Amit Shah will be addressing three rallies in Bihar today, ahead of the second phase of polling on Friday. He will address rallies at Rajpur (Nokha), Arwal and Nabinagar. A total of 458 candidates are in the fray for the second phase of elections for 32 assembly seats, spanning six districts of Kaimur (Bhabhua), Rohtas, Arwal, Jehanabad, Aurangabad and Gaya. More than 85 lakh voters are eligible to vote in the second phase. The BJP is fielding 16 candidates in this phase. 

     
  • BJP leader Syed Shahanwaz Hussain has said that the NDA will get a "decisive mandate" and form the next government in Bihar with “two-thirds majority”. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “popularity with the people of Bihar” and his special package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore for the state “has won the hearts of the people”. The BJP national spokesperson said there was a "strong mood" for change in the state. The strong turnout of 57% in the first phase of polling on Monday has given the BJP-led NDA added confidence.  

     
  • AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has slammed RJD chief Lalu Prasad, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and the Congress for the backwardness of the state’s Seemanchal region. He said his party would work hard for the betterment of minorities and weaker sections. Owaisi, who was addressing an election meeting at Kishanganj, also accused the BJP of plotting to scrap reservations for OBCs, SCs and STS, saying that the BJP “will have to abide by whatever is asked for by the Sangh leadership”. The AIMIM is contesting from six seats in Seemanchal.  

     
Date: 12-10-2015(Bihar Election Phase 1 Updates)
  • The first phase of polling in Bihar ended on Monday evening, with a voter turnout of 57 per cent – a record for the state, according to the Election Commission. In 2010, the turnout for phase one was 50.85 per cent.  

    Voters in 49 of 243 constituencies have sealed the fate of 583 candidates across 10 districts.

    Nitish Kumar is hoping his grand alliance with the RJD and Congress will be enough to stop the Modi juggernaut from capturing power in Patna.

    More women turned out to vote: 59.5 per cent compared to 54.5 per cent male voters.

    Khagariya recorded the highest turnout of 61 per cent.

    Samastipur recorded 60 per cent polling, Begusarai 59 per cent, Bhagalpur 56 per cent, Banka 58 per cent, Munger 55 per cent, Lakhisarai 54 per cent, Sheikhpura 55 per cent, Nawada 53 per cent and Jamui 57 per cent, according to deputy election commissioner Umesh Sinha.

    Three drones were deployed during the day, adding to the heavy security in the polling districts. The voting was largely peaceful, with a few stray clashes and one incident of shooting. No injuries have been reported.

     

     
  • People turned out in large numbers on Monday to cast their votes in the first phase of the five-phase election in Bihar, with a 49% turnout recorded until 3pm. While polling in most constituencies ends at 5pm, in some Maoist-affected areas, the voting was closed at 3pm.

    Polling is taking place in 49 constituencies and 583 candidates in 10 districts are in the fray. The polling was largely peaceful except for some minor clashes and one incident of shooting. No injuries have been reported.

    While the BJP has fielded 27 candidates, the remaining seats in the first phase are being contested by its allies.The JD(U) is fielding 24 candidates, RJD 17 and Congress eight.
     
  • BJP star campaigner Shanawaz Hussain has said that veteran party leader from Gaya, Prem Kumar, will be the NDA chief minister if the alliance wins power in the state. Hussain, a former union minister, said this during the party's campaign meeting in Gaya. He urged people to “vote in large numbers” for Prem Kumar. So far neither the BJP nor the NDA has made any official announcement on the chief ministerial candidate. Prem Kumar, a six-time MLA from Gaya, is considered to be the BJP’s most prominent EBCs face. 

     
  • Addressing a rally at Bhabua, Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the leaders of the grand alliance for trying to prevent the rally from going ahead.

    “I have a feeling that some conspiracy is brewing,” he said, requesting the Election Commission to take note. He said the Nitish Kumar government’s days were numbered.

    Modi sought to remind the crowd that in the past 60 years, Bihar had been ruled by the Congress, RJD and JD(U) but remained far behind in development. He said it was now time to say goodbye to the “big brother and small brother”, referring to Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav.

    The prime minister said the state government had shown its “real face” when a minister was caught accepting bribe, referring to the sting operation on Awadhesh Kushwaha, who was forced to resign.   

     

     
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing a rally at Jehanabad. Hitting out at the grand alliance, the prime minister said the likes of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav had insulted the legacy of Jayaprakash Narayan. Modi brought up the incident involving JD(U) minister Awadhesh Kushwaha, who was forced to resign after a sting operation which purportedly shows him accepting a bribe. Modi said if the grand alliance is voted to power, the future of Bihar is bleak.

     
  • The first phase of the Bihar assembly elections will see some key contests. It’s Paswan vs. Paswan at Kalyanpur, where Ram Vilas Paswan’s cousin Maheshwar Hazari of JD(U) is contesting against Paswan's nephew Prince Raj from LJP.

    Alok Kumar Mehta from RJD is contesting from Ujiarpur, which has 2,47,123 eligible voters.

    At Bhagalpur, sitting Congress MLA Ajit Sharma is up against BJP's Arijit Shashwat, son of BJP leader Ashwini Choubey. BJP rebel Vijay Prasad Shah is also in the fray.

    Tarapur will see a battle between Hindustani Awam Morcha's state president Shakuni Chaudhary and JD(U)’s Mewalal Chaudhary. The main contest in Khagaria is between Rajesh Kumar of the HAM and sitting MLA Poonam Devi Yadav of JD(U), a three-time winner who won twice as an independent candidate.

     

     
  • In an embarrassment for Nitish Kumar as Bihar heads to the first phase of polling, Awadhesh Kushwaha, a minister in his government, resigned after a video surfaced purportedly showing him accepting bribe in a sting operation.

    Kushwaha, the urban development minister and a JD(U) MLA from Pipra assembly constituency, is shown taking bundles of notes but his voice is not clear. The video was released by Jai Hind Bihar and a link has been put on YouTube. Kushwaha claimed he was being targeted by the BJP.

    Meanwhile, the Election Commission has asked the district magistrate to probe the sting operation. 

     
  • Voting has started in the first phase of Bihar polls, with polling taking place in 49 seats out of the 243 seats in the House. The elections are considered to be the most crucial polls of the year. A win for the BJP-led NDA will not only give a boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, but may also give the central government greater incentive to carry out crucial economic reforms. On the other hand, for Nitish Kumar another term as chief minister will consolidate his position as a major player among the anti-BJP parties in the country. 

     
Date: 11-10-2015
  • Though the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) is making a beginning in Bihar’s electoral politics by contesting from just six seats in the Seemanchal region, it won't be a symbolic fight, party chief Asaduddin Owaisi has told IANS. The Hyderabad MP emphasised that it was a “serious fight” and the party was contesting to win, adding that in future “we will expand throughout Bihar”.

     
  • After uncertainty over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at Bhabhua on Monday following denial of permission by Kaimur district authorities, the Election Commission has reportedly given its green signal for the rally to go ahead.

    The police said the district administration had granted clearance for Modi’s rally at the Airport Maidan in Bhabhua tomorrow, and security arrangements were being finalised.

    Meanwhile, a disappointed Bihar JD(U) president Bashistha Narayan Singh said the Election Commission had given no reason for turning down the plea for denial of permission for the PM’s rally, adding that such a decision “compels us to raise a question mark on attitude and style of functioning of the poll panel”. 

     
  • The JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance has approached the Election Commission seeking a ban on the live telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s poll rallies in Bihar. Voting for the first phase of Bihar elections will be held on Monday, October 12. JD(U) leader Pavan Verma asked whether it was “a co-incidence that the PM begins his tour in neighbouring area on same day (October 12)". Earlier, the parties opposed to the BJP had urged the Election Commission to ban the prime minister’s “Mann ki baat” radio programme broadcast.

     
  • The Bihar police together with the state excise department have seized Rs 16.63 crore, Rs. 63.03 lakh in Nepal currency, Rs 16.72 lakh in fake currency and Rs 60.30 lakh in foreign currency so far in the poll-bound state. Around 71,776 litres of liquor, 827.91 kg of weed, 9,132 kg of Mahua and 336 gm of heroin and hafim along with 8.248 kg of gold and jewellery have also been seized, authorities said.

     
  • Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pro-development thrust ahead of the Bihar elections, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan claimed that people criticise Modi “only because he is the son of an OBC”. The union minister was addressing a rally on Saturday at his family bastion of Alauli, where his younger brother Pashupati Kumar Paras is trying to win the seat back from the JD(U). He asked Alauli’s voters to forgive his brother for any mistake he may have made, and vote for the LJP candidate. 

     
  • The BJP has petitioned the Election Commission for allowing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s October 12 rally at Bhabua, and complained against its denial despite getting a clearance from the SPG. Senior BJP leaders Sushil Kumar Modi, Mangal Pandey and Bhupendra Yadav met Bihar’s chief electoral officer Ajay Nayak to submit a memorandum. Pandey alleged that the Kaimur district magistrate did not grant permission for the prime minister’s rally “under pressure from the state government”. He said the district magistrate was “deliberately trying to hamper the rally”.  

     
Date: 10-10-2015
  • BJP president Amit Shah said that despite Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s promises, development was impossible under a grand alliance government as the JD(U) leader was carrying RJD chief’s Lalu Prasad Yadav’s “jungle raj” on one shoulder and Congress' “corruption” on the other.

    Shah was addressing a rally at Rajauli in Bihar’s Nawada district on the last day of campaigning for the first phase of assembly elections.

    He said the combination of Nitish and Lalu can never deliver on the development front, and there is “no hope of good days” in the state if the grand alliance wins. He accused the two Bihari leaders of keeping the state “underdeveloped and backward” for the past 25 years.

    He said because of the duo, Bihars had been deprived of “safe drinking water, electricity, health and education facilities”, adding that a BJP-led NDA government was committed to develop Bihar, if voted to power. 

     
  • Addressing an election rally at Nawada on the last day of campaigning before the first phase of the Bihar assembly elections on October 12, chief minister Nitish Kumar said the NDA was running a leader-less campaign.

    “They don’t have a candidate for the chief minister’s post,” the JD(U) leader said, urging people to cast their “precious vote” in favour of the JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance.

    He said there was synergy between the three constituents of the grand alliance but the BJP-led coalition “had no unity and they keep passing comments on each other”.

    Taking potshots at the dearth of local BJP leaders, he said seeing the number of union ministers campaigning in Bihar, it is as if “Patna has become the capital of India”. He said at this rate the NDA will also contest “panchayat elections in the name of Modi ji”.

    He said the NDA’s promises at the Centre had all proved to be a “big hoax”, adding that in the Rs 1.25 lakh crore central package to Bihar “Rs 1.08 lakh crore was from old projects”.

    He slammed the BJP for “importing” issues like beef-eating and cow slaughter into the Bihar elections, and appealed for unity in the state as “Dussehra and Moharram are coming together”. 

     
  • Campaigning for the first phase of the Bihar assembly polls will end today. Forty-nine constituencies will go to polls in the first phase on Monday; 583 candidates are in the fray for this phase. The districts that will see polling in the first phase are Begusarai, Banka, Samastipur, Bhagalpur, Jamui, Lakhisarai, Khagaria, Munger, Nawada and Sheikhpura.

     
  • The political discourse in Bihar has hit a new low, with RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav again calling BJP president Amit Shah a “narbhakshi (man-eater)” and labeling prime minister Narendra Modi as a “bramhapishaach (a dangerous ghost)”.

    Lalu said the BJP had “no hope” of victory in the Bihar assembly elections. He accused Modi of “abusing the people of Bihar and me”.

    Meanwhile, RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh’s remarks over beef have triggered a sharp response from BJP leader and union minister Giriraj Singh. Raghuvansh had said that there was a mention of beef in the Puranas and sages used to consume cow meat in Vedic times. Calling these remarks “unacceptable”, Giriraj alleged they were part of a well-thought strategy by Lalu and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar. “The whole clan of RJD has gone mad,” the BJP leader said.

     
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is addressing several election rallies in the state on Saturday. The JD(U) leader will address rallies at Amarpur, Nathnagar, Sikandra, Warisaliganj, Sheikhpura and Wazirganj ahead of the first phase of polling on Monday (October 12). All pre-poll surveys have indicated that Nitish is the favorite choice for chief minister, but the surveys are divided over whether the Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance will be able to defeat the BJP-led NDA to form the next government. 

     
  • BJP president Amit Shah is addressing three rallies in poll-bound Bihar today. He will address the rallies at Nawada, Aurangabad and Samastipur districts. With only two days left before the first phase of polling begins in Bihar, all the major parties are giving a final push to their election campaigns. 

     
  • LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan has ruled out any dilution in the reservations policy if the NDA comes to power in Bihar. In fact, reservations will be extended to cover the private sector, the union minister claimed. Describing quotas for backward castes and Dalits as a "constitutional right", Paswan said "no government can alter it", stressing that “even a coma or full stop” will not be added to the existing reservation system. Reservation has become a talking point in Bihar after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s controversial remarks on the issue.

     
  • Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said the choice for voters was between a “Bihari” and a “bahari (outsider)”. The JD(U) leader said only a Bihari could take the state forward, and urged people to say “goodbye to all these outsiders”. He accused the NDA of “importing” controversies such as the beef ban and cow slaughter because it did not have “leaders, workers or issues” in this assembly election. Nitish also claimed that meat production in Gujarat had increased by 234 per cent when Narendra Modi was chief minister.  

     
Date: 09-10-2015
  • The Election Commission has issued notification for the fifth and final phase of the Bihar elections. The fifth phase will see polling in 57 constituencies in nine districts on November 5. Aspirants can file their nomination papers between 11am and 3pm till October 15. Nomination papers will be scrutinized on the following day, and candidates can withdraw their papers till October 19. The election for the final phase will be held in constituencies in Madhubani, Saharsa, Katihar, Darbhanga, Araria, Madhepura, Supaul, Purnea and Kishanganj  districts.  

     
  • Addressing his second election rally of the day at Aurangabad, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his rivals in the grand alliance had “opened a factory to abuse me” since they had "nothing else left to say".

    Indicating that there were hardly any jobs in Bihar, he told the crowd that while travelling in the Delhi Metro, he had met Bihari youth who told him they had come to the national capital in search of jobs. Similarly, Modi said, Biharis were doing well in America. “But why can't they progress in Bihar?” he asked.

    Hitting out at the Nitish Kumar government, he said it had not fulfilled its promise to supply 24 hours electricity. He said by tying up with RJD’s Lalu Prasad Yadav, Nitish was supporting “jungle raj” in Bihar.

    He urged voters to “save Bihar from getting destroyed”.

    He said the NDA would deliver 24 hours electricity to the state if voted to power, and Rs 300 crore had been set aside for providing power to Aurangabad.  He said there was no lack of funds in Bihar, the problem was the current government “did not know how to utilise the money given to it”.

     

     
  • A delegation of RJD leaders is planning to lodge a complaint with the Election Commission against Prime Minister Narendra Modis shaitan remarks against Lalu Prasad Yadav.While addressing election rallies in Bihar on Thursday, Modi had played up Lalus alleged quip about a shaitan entering his tongue that led him to make his controversial beef remark.Lalu has challenged Modi to provide proof that he made such a statement. He indicated that the shaitan remark attributed to him was made up by the prime minister and a few of his sycophant media persons.

     
  • Attempting to push the BJP into a corner over the "anti-backward" caste policy decisions of the Modi government ahead of the Bihar elections, the Congress has accused the prime minister of withdrawing and slashing schemes meant to benefit SCs, STs and OBCs. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala gave examples of five such anti-Dalit, anti-ST and anti-OBC policy decisions of the NDA government and sought to link them to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's controversial remarks on reservations.

     
  • Addressing an election rally at Sasaram in poll-bound Bihar on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the state’s voters to “punish those who had ruined Bihar”. Attacking RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, Modi told the state’s people to ask “Lalu ji why he is not fighting the elections this time”.  He said the leaders of the RJD-Congress-JD(U) grand alliance were opportunists who never got together for the development of Bihar but had “come together with greed for power”. The prime minister again sought to remind the crowd that the choice for Bihar was between the grand alliance’s “jungle raj” and the NDA’s “vikaas raj”. Modi, who addressed four poll rallies on Thursday, is addressing two rallies today.

     
  • With days left before the first phase of polling in Bihar, pre-poll surveys are giving mixed signals about the likely outcome of the crucial assembly elections.

    According to the India TV-CVoter pre-poll survey, the BJP-led NDA will get 119 seats, falling just short of the 122 needed to form a majority in the 243-member House.

    On the other hand, the CNN IBN/IBN7-Axis survey gives a simple majority to the RJD-JD(U)-Congress grand alliance, predicting 46 per cent votes and 137 seats for the Nitish Kumar-led front.

    Meanwhile, a pre-poll survey by ITG-Cicero-India Today TV gives the grand alliance 122 seats, just enough to form a simple majority, while the NDA is projected to get 111 seats. This survey gives the grand alliance a 41 per cent vote share and the NDA 39 per cent.

    According to the India TV-CVoter survey, the NDA will get a 43 per cent vote share, while the grand alliance will win 116 seats and 41 per cent of the vote share. Eight seats will go to other parties or independents, the survey predicts.

    The CNN IBN/IBN7-Axis survey gives only 95 seats to the NDA, which is predicted to get 38 per cent of the vote share.

     
Date: 08-10-2015
  • The Samajwadi Party (SP) has released a list of 79 candidates for the third, fourth and fifth phases of the Bihar elections. The party, which is leading the so-called Third Front, is contesting a total of 146 seats. SP vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda said that since the six-party alliance was formed quite late, “there will be friendly contest between alliance partners at some seats”. But he quickly clarified that all the alliance partners had been consulted before the announcement. 

     
  • RJD chief Lalu Prasad and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan are known for their sharp-tongued comments against each other. Now it’s the turn of their sons to join the war of words. A day after Paswan’s son Chirag said the wrong entry of ages by Lalu’s sons Tej Pratap and Tejaswi in their poll affidavits was a reflection of the RJD’s “jungle raj”, Tejaswi hit back, daring Chirag to reveal the name of Ram Vilas Paswan’s wife as mentioned in his poll affidavit.  

     

     
  • Addressing his fourth and last election rally of the day at Nawada in Bihar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally broke his silence over the killing in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri.

    Warning against what he called the “games of death”, Modi promised that no politics will happen over the incident and “we won’t let…Bihar be destroyed”.

    He urged people to follow the advice given by President Pranab Mukherkjee, who had on Wednesday stressed on the importance of safeguarding India’s core values of diversity and tolerance.

    The prime minister said that people were making “irresponsible statements” because of “politics and for petty gains”, but he urged Indian citizens not to take them seriously. “Even if Narendra Modi himself says things like that, don't listen to him,” he said.

     

     
  • Addressing his third election rally of the day at Samastipur, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the people of Bihar will teach a lesson to those who show arrogance, in a reference to chief minister Nitish Kumar.

    He said voting NDA meant voting for “good roads and good education", and emphasised the importance of building toilets for women.

    The prime minister also targeted the RJD and JD(U) by saying that politicians who “spread the venom of casteism” cannot bring progress to Bihar. 

     
  • Alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was making a “brazen attempt to add communal texture” to the Bihar assembly elections, JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar said his silence on the Dadri incident was “deafening”.

    The chief minister said in a message on Twitter that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had reminded Modi to follow Raj Dharma but “wonder who will do the Vajpayee today?” — in a clear reference to the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots.

     
  • Addressing a rally at Begusarai, Prime Minister Narendra Modi drew laughter from the crowd when he compared the Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance to the "Bigg Boss House".

    Explaining the analogy, Modi said in the Big Boss house, the boss claims to make everyone dance to his tunes and everyone in the house is scared of each other.

    Then he asked the crowd if they wanted such a “game” to be played in Bihar. The crowd yelled “nahin (no)”. 

     
  • Continuing his attack on the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) at the Begusarai rally after the morning rally at Munger, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described it as the “maha swaarth bandhan (grand selfish alliance)".

    Modi said the people of Bihar had decided to elect an NDA government and move on the path of "vikasvad".

    He once again slammed Lalu Yadav for his remarks on beef eating, saying the RJD chief had insulted the “Yaduvanshis (Yadav community)”.

    Taking potshots at the RJD-JD(U)-Congress grand alliance, the prime minister said its members “cannot stand each other” but still want to form a government. He urged the crowd to choose “vikas raj” over “jungle raj”.

     
  • Addressing an election rally in Munger on Thursday morning, PM Narendra Modi said for the first time in Bihar, polls were being based on the idea of development. Evoking the legacy of Jayaprakash Narayan, Modi said the country lost him on this day in 1979 and he died because “he was sent to prison during the Emergency imposed by Congress”. Taking barbs at Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav, Modi said people who supported the JP movement were now with the Congress. He said the Congress was never this “powerless”, and the reason for this was the “ego of its leaders”. The rally at Munger is the first of four rallies that Modi is addressing on Thursday. 

     
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address four election rallies in Bihar on Thursday as the BJP prepares to give its poll campaign a final push ahead of the first phase of elections on October 12. Modi, who is virtually the face of the BJP’s election campaign, will address rallies at Munger, Samastipur, Begusarai and Nawada. The prime minister is expected to address another 20 to 30 rallies in course of the campaign. On Friday, he is due to hold rallies in Sasaram and Aurangabad.  

     

     
Date: 07-10-2015
  • The age discrepancy in the affidavits of Lalu Prasad Yadav's two sons has given the BJP a new reason to target the RJD. The BJP has formally asked the Election Commission to look into the issue. The RJD chief’s younger son, Tejaswi Yadav, has been listed as being a year older than his elder brother, Tej Pratap Yadav, according to their affidavits. Lalu Yadav dismissed the controversy, saying their ages were entered on basis of information given in their voter identity cards.

     
  • The RLSP has come out publically over differences with its ally BJP over the possible ban on cow slaughter in Bihar in case the NDA wins the assembly elections. RLSP state president Arun Kumar said it was “not proper to say such things” before a discussion with all alliance partners. Arun Kumar was reacting to BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi’s statement that an NDA government would ban cow slaughter in the state.

     
  • The filing of nomination papers for the fourth phase of the Bihar elections has begun. The fourth phase is scheduled for November 1 and will see polling in 55 constituencies. The last date for filing nominations for the fourth phase is October 14 and scrutiny of papers will take place on October 15. Candidates can withdraw nominations till October 17. Assembly constituencies in Sheohar, East Champaran, West Champaran, Sitamarhi, Siwan, Gopalganj and Muzaffarpur districts will go to polls in the fourth phase.

     
  • The Congress has decided that it won’t come out with its own manifesto for the Bihar assembly elections, reports say. The party’s decision is an attempt to project a united front as part of the grand alliance with the JD(U) and RJD. The Congress will give its suggestions for the common minimum programme of the grand alliance. The Congress is contesting from 41 seats, while the JD(U) and RJD are contesting from 101 seats each. 

     
  • Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said the NDA government at the Centre had failed to fulfill its promises.

    Rahul, who was addressing an election rally at Bihar’s Sheikhpura district on Wednesday, said Modi had made “several promises” including “bringing back black money and depositing Rs 15 lakh in every Indian’s bank account”, but failed to fulfill even a single one. 

    Rahul accused the prime minister of only caring for his “friends” in the corporate world. He also questioned the NDA government’s intention behind granting special status to Bihar, asking what took it “so long”. He said Modi was always on foreign tours but never seen standing next to a farmer. Rahul expressed confidence that the grand alliance of RJD-JD(U)-Congress would win the Bihar elections.

     
  • All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi faces arrest for his alleged provocative remarks during an election rally in Bihar. The AIMIM is contesting six seats in the state’s Seemanchal region, which has a significant Muslim population. Owaisi reportedly used objectionable remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders during a rally in Kishanganj district. Owaisi was campaigning in the Kochadhaman constituency, where AIMIM’s Akhtarul Iman is contesting.

     
  • About Rs 17 crore in cash has been recovered ahead of the Bihar assembly elections so far. Besides, over 1.5 lakh litres of liquor has been seized, according to official figures. The cash seized so far amounts to three times the sum recovered in the state during last year’s Lok Sabha elections. The police and other agencies are keeping a close watch on the Nepal border, which is often a conduit for ferrying in illegal cash. 

     
Date: 06-10-2015
  • Hitting out at Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, BJP president Amit Shah said the JD(U) leader was merely a mask and no development would be possible in a government where the RJD and Congress were alliance partners. He once again sought to remind the voters of the RJD’s “jungle raj” and the Congress’ involvement in “scams to the tune of Rs 12 lakh crore” during the UPA rule.

    Shah, who was speaking at an election rally in Bhagalpur, said the state’s development with partners like these was an impossibility, adding that both RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish had done next to nothing to improve the state, and whatever little development Bihar had seen was when the BJP was in partnership with the JD(U).

    Urging people to vote for NDA, the BJP president said the state’s development and progress were at stake. He called Nitish an "expert" in the “politics of betrayal” who had rejoined his arch enemy Lalu only to defeat the NDA.

     

     
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has virtually accused the BJP of trying to create communalise tension to gain political advantage ahead of the assembly elections.

    Cautioning people against the BJP’s designs, the JD(U) leader, who was addressing election rallies at Bhagalpur and Sheik, said the BJP was without a “neta” (leader), “niti” (policy) and “niyat” (intention) and was staring at defeat in the state; it was trying to mask these deficiencies by attempts at communal polarisation, the chief minister alleged.

    Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for calling him “ahankari”, Nitish said he was not ahankari but a “Bihari, who is fighting for the self respect of Bihar and its people”.

     
  • CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has said that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks on reservations will hamper the BJP’s poll prospects in Bihar. Yechury hinted that such remarks won’t go down well with Dalit voters. Bhagwat had recently called for a review in the reservation policy at the central level. The various Left parties are contesting the assembly elections in Bihar under the joint umbrella of the Left Front.

     
  • The affidavits filed by RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s two sons curiously show the younger son, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, as being a year older to his elder brother, Tej Pratap Yadav. The affidavit filed by Tej during submission of his nomination from Mahua constituency in Vaishali district lists his age as 25, whereas his younger brother Tejashwi’s age is shown as 26. The latter is contesting from Raghopur assembly constituency, which is also in Vaishali district.

     
  • BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi has said that if the NDA wins the Bihar elections, the new government will "frame an effective legislation" to ban cow slaughter in the state. Modi said the assembly elections were a “direct contest” between those in favour of beef eating and those seeking to ban cow slaughter. The former deputy chief minister was indirectly referring to RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s controversial statement that Hindus too eat beef.

     
  • BJP president Amit Shah and union minister Nitin Gadkari will address several rallies and meetings in Bihar on Tuesday. Shah will address a public meeting at a school in Rosera, followed by a workers’ meeting, reports said. He will then address a rally at Bhagalpur and a public meeting at Pirpainti. Gadkari will address rallies in Nabinagar, Nokha and Aurangabad, and public meetings at Dinara, Rohtas and Jagdispur (Bhojpur).

     
  • Narendra Modi, the face of the BJP's Bihar poll campaign, will address four rallies on Thursday (October 8) instead of the three previously scheduled amid indications that the party plans to carpet bomb the state with the prime minister’s rallies. His October 8 rallies will be at Samastipur, Munger, Nawada and Begusarai. Modi is also likely to discuss the poll strategy with BJP leaders during the trip. The Bihar elections are widely being seen as a crucial political test for the BJP, and the party is leaving no stone unturned to project brand Modi as its USP. 

     
  • The Bihar polls will decide the future of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son Tejaswi Yadav. The cricketer-turned-politician said he was confident that the RJD-JD(U)-Congress grand alliance will win the elections. Tejaswi and his brother Tej Pratap are contesting the assembly elections. Tejaswi predicted that crucial policy decisions such as land acquisition and the future of reservation for backward castes will be determined by the Bihar election results.

     
Date: 05-10-2015
  • In what is being described as a first for the state, seven polling stations in Gaya will be run by all-women teams in the city on October 16 during the Bihar assembly elections. The women, including polling officers and presiding officers, will be among those who have volunteered for the job. The seven polling stations will be located in the city’s Gaya College and Mahavir Inter College. Currently, the female volunteers are being trained for the task.

     
  • The BJP has released its fourth list of candidates for the Bihar assembly elections. It named Awadhesh Kumar and Ram Janam Sharma from Hazipur and Paliganj assembly constituencies respectively. The two names were finalised during a meeting of the party’s central election committee, reports said. The BJP’s third list comprised 11 candidates. The party has so far declared candidates for 155 of the 160 seats from where it is contesting.

     
  • The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has released its first list of six candidates for the Bihar assembly elections. The AIMIM is contesting from a total of 24 constituencies. The Bihar unit president of the party Akhtarul Iman has been fielded from the Kochadam seat. The AIMIM is contesting only in the Seemanchal region which has a significant Muslim population in Kishanganj, Araria, Purnea and Katihar districts. 

     
  • BJP is reaching out to Biharis living in Bengaluru as campaigning for the first phase of the Bihar elections enters the last week. Union minister Ananth Kumar, who is the BJP MP from Bengaluru South, addressed dozens of Bihari volunteers gathered in Bengaluru, on phone from Patna. He told them besides coming to Bihar to vote, they should reach out to the estimated 1.25 lakh Biharis in Bengaluru through SMS and social media so that they vote for the NDA.

     
  • RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has indicated that he won’t campaign alongside Congress president Sonia Gandhi for the Bihar assembly elections. RJD and Congress are part of the grand alliance that also includes the JD(U). When asked if he would be campaigning with Sonia, Lalu reportedly quipped that they will campaign “alag, alag” (separately). The two leaders had shared the stage during a major rally in Patna. JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar is the chief ministerial candidate of the alliance.

     
  • Union minister and BJP leader Piyush Goyal has alleged that Bihar did not generate even a single MW of electricity during the 10-year rule of Nitish Kumar. Goyal, the minister of state (independent charge) for power, coal, new and renewable energy, said that after the Nitish Kumar government’s two terms in office, the power situation in the state “continues to remain as grim as ever”. He accused the state government of making false claims about the electricity situation. 

     
  • Reports indicate that BJP strategists have decided to give development preference over caste in campaigning ahead of the first phase of polling in Bihar. This change in strategy has been visible in the last couple of days. According to the party’s calculations, such a realignment of the poll pitch will find resonance with the state’s young voters who are more focussed on developmental issues across caste lines. More than half of Bihar’s voters are below the age of 40.

     
Date: 04-10-2015
  • Stepping into the murky waters of Bihar politics, renowned lawyer Ram Jethmalani has urged the state’s voters to defeat the BJP-led NDA in the upcoming assembly elections. The former union minister asked people to vote for the grand alliance chief ministerial candidate Nitish Kumar. He said prime minister Narendra Modi "should suffer a defeat in Bihar because he has cheated the people", alleging that the NDA was following "anti-people policies" at the Centre.

     
  • BJP president Amit Shah has alleged that chief minister Nitish Kumar will not be able to put Bihar on the path of development given the credentials of his allies Congress and RJD. Shah, who was addressing an election rally at Muzaffarpur, said while the Congress was responsible for scams "to the tune of Rs 12 lakh crore” during the UPA regime, the RJD had presided over a “jungle raj” during its 15-year rule in Bihar.  

     
  • The Election Commission has sent a reminder to political parties about the guidelines needed to be followed during the drafting of election manifestos.The EC has also asked parties to provide it with a copy of the manifesto soon after its release. The EC’s guidelines to political parties with reference to manifestos is based on a 2013 judgment by the Supreme Court.  

     
  • Vehicles carrying cash for ATMs in Bihar are being monitored by authorities to ensure that they are not used for ferrying black money ahead of the assembly elections. Banks have to keep records of cash being taken in the vehicles and produce the records if demanded by officials during checking. The vehicles are typically operated by private security firms. Checking the flow of black money is one of the important tasks of security agencies during the assembly elections.

     
  • Targeting Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, BJP president Amit Shah described the JD(U) chief as “arrogant and over-ambitious”. He said Nitish did not have the right to reject the Rs 1.25 lakh crore package announced by the Modi government for the state. Shah, who was addressing BJP workers, said the Centre had provided the package plus another Rs 40,000 crore for existing schemes, and the total amount was thrice the annual budget of Bihar. 

     
  • RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav's son Tejaswi Yadav has filed his nomination papers for the Bihar assembly elections from Raghopur constituency. The 26-year-old cricketer-turned-politician was accompanied by his father and brother Tej Pratap. Tejaswi said people supported him and "will vote for me". Tej Pratap Yadav is contesting from Mahua constituency. Raghopur and Mahua are both in the state's Vaishali district.  

     
Date: 03-10-2015
  • Two great grandsons of Bihar's first chief minister, Sri Krishna Sinha, are contesting against each other in Bihar's assembly elections. Anil Shankat Sinha and Amritansh Anand are seeking votes in the name of Sri Krishna Sinha, popularly known as Sri Babu, in the semi-urban Barbigha constituency in Sheikhpura district. Both are contesting elections for the first time. Anil Shankat Sinha is a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate while Amritansh Anand is an independent. Both are campaigning for over 12 hours daily, in small towns and villages in the Bhumihar-Brahmin dominated constituency. "I have a single agenda: to work for the people and to develop Barbigha," Anil Shankat Sinha says. Source: IANS

     
  • More than Rs50 lakh in cash has been recovered by the Bihar police in the latest such seizures ahead of the assembly elections. Over 11,000 litres liquor and 35 kg ganja were also seized, officials said. While Rs. 28.85 lakh in cash was recovered from the state’s Gopalganj district, Rs 10 lakh was seized from the Athmalgola area in the state capital Patna, according to the Chief Electoral Officer.  

     
  • JD(U) minister Baidyanath Sahni has quit his office and joined the BJP ahead of the Bihar elections. The MLA from Samastipur district’s Morwa constituency sent his resignation to chief minister Nitish Kumar’s office, and later joined the BJP in presence of party leader Mangal Pandey. The disgruntled animal husbandry and fisheries minister wad denied a party ticket by the JD(U) for the first phase of polling on October 12.

     

     
  • Congress president Sonia Gandhi will address two rallies in poll-bound Bihar on Saturday. The rallies will be held at Kahalgaon and Birgunj. Kahalgaon goes to polls in the first phase on October 12, while Birgunj (near Gaya) will see polling in the second phase on October 16. Chief minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad may share the dais with Sonia Gandhi. This is her first visit to the state since the August 30 rally in Patna.  

     
Date: 02-10-2015
  • Security forces are on high alert in neighbouring Jharkhand ahead of the five-phase assembly elections. Senior police officers met with SPs and commandants of CRPF battalions to take a stock of the security preparedness and implement a strategy to check the activities of Maoists and criminals. The areas along the Jharkhand-Bihar border will be a special focus of the security forces. The forces will carry out exercises in the border districts of Palamu, Garhwa and Chatra.

     
  • Anant Singh, a Bihar legislator who is lodged in Beur Central jail, will contest the assembly elections from behind the bars, reports say. A court has given the Independent candidate the permission to go ahead. He will contest from Mokamah assembly constituency and file his nomination papers next week. A member of the Bhumihar caste, Singh was arrested in June in a case linked to murder and kidnapping.  

     
  • The “one million dollars” seized by the Bihar police in the poll-bound state are most likely fake. In a press conference held by the police, the seized note was seen to have a denomination of $1000000 — such a note does not exist in the US. Police had earlier said the “dollars” were recovered from two bikers who were allegedly part of a group operating between Nepal and India. The duo has been arrested. 

     
  • In a reversal of stance, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal now says he backs JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar in the Bihar elections. He described the Bihar chief minister as a “good person”. Kejriwal had earlier said that he was not supporting anyone in the polls. But he claimed the media had distorted his statement. “I fully support Nitish Kumar,” the AAP chief said. “People should vote him CM.” However, it is not clear if AAP’s support extends to JD(U)’s alliance partners.  

     
  • The JD(U)- RJD-Congress grand alliance in Bihar has hit out at the NDA, asking the government at the Centre about its poll promises made during the 2014 Lok Sabha campaign. The grand alliance released a video titled “Jumlon Ki Jubani, Jhooth ki Karistani” in a bid to show that the BJP had been indulging only in “big talk”. The 10-minute video touches upon promises such as depositing lakhs of rupees in every citizen’s bank account, ceasefire violations by Pakistan, etc.

     
  • Countering charges by the NDA about a return to “jungle raj” in Bihar if the “grand alliance” came to power, chief minister Nitish Kumar quoted National Crime Record Bureau data to show that BJP-ruled states suffered from more crimes. Addressing a rally at Samastipur and Begusarai districts, the JD(U) leader said that NCRB’s figures for 2014 prove that more crime had taken place in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh — all BJP-ruled states.  He accused the BJP of “spreading lies”.

     

     
Date: 01-10-2015
  • Media reports indicate that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address only 10 to 12 election rallies in Bihar instead of the 20-plus rallies planned earlier. The reason for this is a heightened threat perception, based on inputs from intelligence and security officials. The prime minister is due to address a rally in Banka on October 2. Another rally is planned for Munger, a Maoist-affected area, on October 8.  

     
  • The BJP in its vision document for poll-bound Bihar has announced scooties for female students who do well, colour television sets for Dalits and Mahadalits and education loans at cheaper rates. The party has also promised Atal Medicine Centres that will provide medicines at discounts, and land for the landless. Cheaper loans will be provided for technical and professional education of women as well as students who score good marks in Class 10 and 12 exams, according to the vision document.   

     
  • The filing of nomination papers for the third phase of the Bihar assembly elections slated to be held on October 28 began on Thursday, an official said. In the third phase, elections will be held in 50 of the 243 assembly constituencies. The last date for filing nominations for the third phase is October 8. While the scrutiny of papers will take place on October 9, candidates can withdraw their nominations till October 12.
    Additional Chief Electoral Officer R. Lakshmanan said here that the process for the five-phase assembly elections in Bihar began last month with filing of nomination papers for the first and second phases. The constituencies going to the polls in the third phase are in Saran, Vaishali, Nalanda, Patna, Bhojpur and Buxar districts. Source: IANS

     
  • Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will address three election rallies in Begusarai, Sheikhpura and Rohtas districts of poll-bound Bihar on October 7, reports say. The Congress is contesting 41 seats in the assembly elections as part of the “grand alliance” while its alliance partners JD(U) and RJD are contesting 101 seats each. The first phase of the five-phase election will be held on October 12.

     
  • The BJP has released its vision document for the Bihar elections. While releasing the document, union finance minister Arun Jaitley hit out at the Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance, saying the time had come to end Bihar’s "jungle raj". The senior BJP leader described the JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance as opportunistic, adding that none of the alliance partners displayed “political consistency". Jaitley said BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh had developed in the past 15 years but Bihar had lagged behind.  

     
  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar once again raised the "insider "vs" outsider" issue, saying that the voters of Bihar must decide if they want a "Bihari" or a “Bahri” to lead the next government, the latter a reference to prime minister Narendra Modi who is the effective face of the NDA campaign. Nitish, who was addressing a rally at Nathnagar, said that as a native of Bihar his attachment to the state was undoubtedly greater than that of Modi’s.

     

     
  • Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was not extending support to any political party in the Bihar assembly elections. He indirectly indicated that not much importance should be given to his trip to the poll-bound state, saying he had not gone there for campaigning but to attend a "workshop on governance" organised by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar before the poll dates were announced. 

     
  • The Election Commission has banned the dissemination and publication of all kinds of exit polls from October 12, when the first phase of the Bihar assembly elections will be held. The ban will stay in place till November 5, the last phase of polling. The prohibition on exit polls will come into effect from 7am on October 12 and will stay in place till 5.30pm on November 5, the Election Commission said.

     
Date: 30-09-2015
  • More than Rs 7 crore worth of cash was seized from Saran and Siwan districts in poll-bound Bihar during routine checking, the state police has said. While Rs 7 crore was recovered from a vehicle in Chapra, Rs 12 lakh was seized from a vehicle in Siwan, according to the police. Authorities are intensifying efforts to seize unaccounted cash as the elections approach.  

     
  • Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will address two rallies in Bihars Seemanchal region, which is also the focus of the Asaduddin Owaisi-led MIM. The Congress-JD(U)-RJD alliance is trying to ensure that the Muslim vote in the region does not split, as that can only work to the advantage of the NDA. Overall, Rahul is expected to address at least nine election rallies in the state, while his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi is likely to address four.

     
  • Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya has said that the NDA has an edge over the grand alliance in the Bihar polls thanks to the fodder scam involving RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. The labour and employment minister said Lalu’s involvement in the scam was a sharp contrast to the clean image of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre – and this would work in favour of the BJP-led NDA alliance in the assembly elections.

     
  • Now it's the JD(U)'s turn to get embarrassed in the run-up to the Bihar polls. In a video gone viral, Abhay Kushwaha, the party's candidate from Gaya, is seen pole-dancing with a female dancer and making obscene moves. The JD(U) leader also showers money on the dancer as the crowd eggs him on. It is not immediately clear when this video was shot. This controversy comes after the BJP faced allegations of selling tickets. 

     
  • BJP president Amit Shah is on a one-week tour of poll-bound Bihar where he will hold crucial meetings with party workers and state leaders to give final shape to the NDA's campaign ahead of the five-phase elections. Ananth Kumar, the party's election in-charge for Bihar, will join Shah and the two will preside over several meetings of party workers and important leaders from all districts.

     
  • BJP leader Giriraj Singh has said that no upper caste man will become the chief minister of Bihar if the BJP-led NDA wins the elections. The minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises said that in case of an NDA victory, the next CM "will be from either the OBCs or the EBCs". The remarks come after RJD chief Lalu Yadav described the elections as a battle between the forward and backward castes.

     
Date: 29-09-2015
  • Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi will address more than a dozen rallies in poll-bound Bihar. These include rallies by Sonia Gandhi in Kahalgaon on October 3 and by her son Rahul in Bachchwara and Barbigha on October 7, reports say. Chief minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav are likely to share the dais with the Gandhis on more than one occasion.

     
  • Targeting BJP's attempt to make prime minister Narendra Modi the face of the NDA's election campaign in Bihar, chief minister Nitish Kumar said the state can be governed "by a Bihari only, not an outsider". The JD(U) chief accused the BJP of trying to “divert” Bihar from its "path of development". He said Modi had made tall claims to win the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, but the people of Bihar will not fall for his words now.

     
  • RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said that Bihar did not need the so-called “Gujarat model” of development or any leader “imported” from Gujarat. In a message on Twitter, the former chief minister said Biharis had confidence, self-respect and the “capability to work hard” for their state’s development. The RJD and its ally JD(U) are contesting 101 seats each in the crucial assembly elections. 

     
Date: 28-09-2015
    • CEC Nasim Zaidi assures all steps being taken to ensure free and fair polls.
    • Nitish Kumar alleges NDA government will abolish reservations at Centre for SCs, STs and OBCs if the BJP-led alliance wins Bihar polls.
     
  • The BJP will soon launch its ‘star’ power as high-profile ministers and celebrities span across the state in a show of strength. The list of star campaigners in the BJP list include union ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Smriti Irani; chief ministers such as Shivraj Singh Chouhan; and crowd favourites such as Hema Malini and Navjot Singh Sidhu. The party’s biggest draw, of course, is prime minister Narendra Modi.

     
  • Another BJP lawmaker has expressed unhappiness over the distribution of tickets for the Bihar assembly elections. Sasaram MP Chedi Paswan said he was dissatisfied by the reason given by the party leadership while denying a request to give a ticket to his son. He alleged that the party had said that no ticket would be given to wards of MPs, but the sons of Ashwani Choubey and CP Thakur had been given tickets. 

     
  • RJD chief Lalu Prasad has called upon Yadavs, Muslims and other backward castes to unite and “rally behind” the alliance that comprises his party, JD(U) and Congress, in the Bihar assembly elections. The former chief minister, who kicked off his son Tejaswi Yadav’s poll campaign from the Raghopur constituency, said nobody could stop the Mahagathbandhan from coming to power in Bihar under the leadership of chief ministerial candidate Nitish Kumar. 

     
Date: 26-09-2015
    • Ravi Shankar Prasad accuses Bihar CM Nitish Kumar of playing “package politics” 

    • RLSP names last four candidates for assembly elections

    • Bihar Police seize unaccounted cash, liquor, arms

    • BJP MP RK Singh claims party tickets are being sold

     
Date: 25-09-2015
    • 605 candidates in fray for first phase of Bihar polls on October 12
    • Venkaiah Naidu urges voters to cast their ballot in favour of BJP so that party’s Rajya Sabha numbers get a boost
    • Sonia Gandhi to campaign for polls on October 3
    • Ram Vilas Paswan and Ravi Shankar Prasad get added security layer as they campaign for the elections
    • Narendra Modi set to address at least 20 rallies in poll-bound Bihar over a month
     
Date: 23-09-2015
  • 55 per cent candidates of Grand Alliance (134 seats) belong to backward classes. SC/ST and Muslim candidates are contesting from 40 seats and 33 seats respectively. 10 per cent seats were allocated for women by the alliance. General category candidates are fielded from 39 seats. While RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav is contesting from Raghopur constituency, RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddique will contest from Alinagar seat.

     
  • Today is last date of nomination filing for October 12’s first phase of Bihar Assembly election. While Grand Alliance has come up with its list of 242 candidates today, earlier Pappu Yadav's Jan Adhikar Morcha and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party also came out with their respective 15 and 2 candidates’ lists. LJP has announced candidate names for 12 seats but are reportedly unhappy with BJP on seat sharing issue.

     
  • Bharat Bind, Bihar BSP President, said they will contest all 242 Bihar assembly seats and is currently finalizing its candidate list. BSP’s Bihar-in-charge, Tilak Chandra Ahirwar, said they are expecting to win double-digit seats this time and are concentrating on Buxar, Siwan, Gopalganj, Sasaram, and Kaimur districts. BSP’s entry may adversely affect NDA’s prospects because of Mayawati’s stature as a bigger Dalit representative than Jitan Manjhi and Ram Vilas Paswan.

     
  • Congress has finalised the list of about 15 candidates of the 41 assembly seats, it will be contesting in upcoming Bihar polls. The party is likely to release the list of at least nine candidates soon. The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi.

     
Date: 21-09-2015

  • Arun Jaitley slams claims by CM Nitish Kumar that Bihar will get less funds from the Union Government.
  • NDA ally Shiv Sena announces that it will contest 150 seats in the elections alone.
  • Rajiv Pratap Rudy says it is BJP’s turn to rule Bihar after “misgovernance” by other parties like RJD and JD (U).
  • Filing of nomination papers for second phase of the Bihar assembly elections, slated for October 16, begins.
  • Former Bihar CM Jiten Ram Manjhi to face Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary in Imamganj constituency.
  • LJP announces candidates for nine more seats.
Date: 20-09-2015

  • Sunday has been an eventful day in the run up to Bihar election as Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) announced 7 candidate names in its second list published today. Troubles for LJP increased as both son-in-laws of Ram Vilas Paswan - Anil Kumar Sadhu and Mrinal – expressed their displeasure of not getting party tickets, with Anil threatening to field candidates in all 243 seats under Dalit Sena’s banner. SP has joined hands with 5 other parties (including Pappu Yadav), increasing woes for the Grand Alliance.
Date: 19-09-2015

  • Congress Vice President today kick started Bihar assembly election campaign by asking electorates of the state not to vote for BJP and made blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi by calling him “feku” and the union government “suit-boot ki sarkar”. Grand alliance of JD(U), RJD, and Congress announced their seat sharing formula for upcoming polls. While JDU-RJD combine will contest in 101 seats, Congress will contest 41 seats. Giving severe blow to the grand alliance JDU MLA Satish Kumar today joined BJP.
Last Updated on 22 July, 2019.