The Grand Alliance in Bihar seems to have arrived at a consensus over seat sharing ahead of the three-phase state assembly elections, starting October 28.
Of the 243 seats, the Congress is likely to fight the elections on 70 seats, of which three have been given to CPIM. Sources said 143 seats have been given to Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal; Vikassheel Insaan Party of Mukesh Sahani is likely to get 10-12 of these, and 28-30 seats have landed in CPM’s quota.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who heads a coalition in the state with the BJP, hopes to win a fourth term with the opposition RJD of jailed former chief minister Lalu Yadav and the Congress – his partners in the last election – challenging him.
The opposition, led by Lalu Yadav’s son Tejashwi Yadav, plans to target the ruling coalition over its handling of the coronavirus crisis and the migrant crisis, besides the floods in the state. The centre’s controversial farm bills, passed in parliament despite opposition protests, have also armed Tejashwi Yadav with a campaign pitch to target what he calls an “anti-farmer” government.
Bihar has to elect a new 243-member assembly in three phases on October 28, November 3 and 7.
Voting will take place from 7 AM to 6 PM instead of 5 AM. Covid patients, suspects and those in quarantine will vote separately and there will be no physical contact during meetings and rallies, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said. Voters have to use masks and gloves. The number of phases have also been reduced from five to minimize infection. “COVID-19 patients can vote in the last hour of the day,” he added.