Officials check EVMs and VVPATs before sealing ahead of the 
second phase of polling in Patna on Friday.
Officials check EVMs and VVPATs before sealing ahead of the second phase of polling in Patna on Friday.

Manoj Pathak Patna

With the second phase of Bihar Assembly election slated to be held next week in 94 segments, both the ruling Janata Dal-United of the National Democratic Alliance and the opposition RJD of the Grand Alliance will have to sweat it out as they face a tough battle to retain their seats.

Voting for 94 seats will be done on November 3 and the remaining 78 seats on November 7. The results will be announced on November 10.

The RJD has fielded 56 candidates in the second phase of the election, wherein it is in direct contest with the BJP on 27 seats and with the ally turned foe JD-U on 25 seats. The BJP is contesting 46 seats and the JD-U 43 seats.

The prestige of 27 MLAs of the Grand Alliance is on stake in the November 3 poll.

On the line will be the political future of RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav from Raghopur seat and Tej Pratap from Hassanpur seat in Samastipur district. In the 2015 election, the Rashtriya Janata Dal of Lalu Yadav had bagged 33 of these seats, the JD-U 30 and the Congress 7 whereas the NDA had won only 22 seats.

However, a lot of water has since flown down the rivers ever since. New political permutations and combinations have come into play in 2020 as compared to the 2015 poll.

Five years ago, Nitish Kumar's JD-U fought the election in alliance with the RJD and the Congress, whereas the NDA had Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) in its camp.

In this poll fray, the JD-U has moved to the NDA camp, the LJP is fighting its own battle and the RLSP is a part of the Grand Democratic Secular Front.

Other prominent faces in the fray in the second phase are RJD leaders Alok Kumar Mehta from Ujiyarpur and Shailesh Kumar from Bihpur, former parliamentarian Anand Mohan's son Chetan Anand from Sheohar, former parliamentarian Rama Singh's wife Beena Singh from Mahnar, and Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha's son Luv from Bankipur.

So, even as a tough task seems ahead for RJD to repeat its 2015 performance in the absence of JD-U by its side, leaders of JD-U along with BJP are also sweating it out to wrest the initiative from Tejashwi's party.

As both alliances slog to woo voters ahead of the November 3 elections, only time will tell who succeeded in this political game.

Meanwhile, citing Pakistani minister's admission that his country was behind the 2019 Pulwama attack, BJP president JP Nadda on Friday said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the country for his stand on the dastardly attack.

Also commenting on the same issue Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said a Pakistani ministers admission of his countrys involvement in the 2019 Pulwama attack has revealed the truth on the matter and silenced those who had questioned the NDA governments intent on the issue. "A Pak minister has revealed the truth in Pulwama attack by giving a statement in the National Assembly.”

In another development, the I-T dept detected “undisclosed” income of Rs75cr after it raided 4 contractors and traders at multiple locations in Bihar on Thursday.

Also, opposition parties sharpened their attack on the Nitish Kumar govt in Bihar over Munger firing.

"It is just the beginning. Whoever is associated with ‘Saat Nischay Yojana’ will be probed and action taken. I kept on saying ‘Saat Nischay Yojana’ is the biggest scam in the history of Bihar and this should be investigated fully. Just because of probe they are in fear. Why is Nitish Kumar scared when we are just talking about the investigation," said Chirag Paswan, LJP chief.

RJD attacks Nitish govt for not providing security to Tejashwi

Patna: RJD on Friday accused the Nitish Kumar-led state govt of not providing proper security to Leader of Opposition, Tejashwi Yadav. Manoj Jha, RJD Rajya Sabha MP, said the Nitish govt was deliberately not providing security to Tejashwi during rallies. "The security of Tejashwi Yadav is completely compromi­sed at rally venues. People are assembling in large numbers and breaking the barricades. They are reaching out to him even at the helipad. It is a threat to his life apart from creating hurdles in the helicopter operation. Such a situation could lead to an accident,” Jha said.

Did nothing for women: Nitish attacks Lalu

Khagaria: Attacking Opposition RJD, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar appealed to people to not "get misled" by those who "ignored" women and backward classes during their rule. At a rally at Parbatta here, he said, "They are talking today, but how was the condition of women earlier? They were ignored, nobody paid attention to their issues." Attack­ing jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad, without naming him, Kumar said, “When he was sent to jail, he installed his wife (Rabri Devi) on the chair, but did nothing for the welfare of the women otherwise.”

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