Bihar Assembly poll begins: Nitish Kumar faces litmus test, Tejashwi looks to unseat NDA
Patna/IBNS: The first election in India amid the Covid-19 spread began in Bihar on Wednesday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), also steered by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the state, facing a litmus test as Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)'s Tejashwi Yadav has emerged as a serious challenger to the incumbent.
The first phase of the high-octane assembly poll began in 71 of total 243 constituencies in the morning maintaining all Covid-19 protocols.
Though the state election was believed to be a cakewalk for the JD(U)-BJP alliance, Yadav's RJD along with the Congress has apparently emerged as a serious challenger to the ruling coalition, coupled with people's anger against CM Kumar evident in various media coverage.
बिहार विधानसभा चुनावों में आज पहले दौर की वोटिंग है।— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 28, 2020
सभी मतदाताओं से मेरा आग्रह है कि वे कोविड संबंधी सावधानियों को बरतते हुए, लोकतंत्र के इस पर्व में अपनी हिस्सेदारी सुनिश्चित करें।
दो गज की दूरी का रखें ध्यान, मास्क जरूर पहनें।
याद रखें, पहले मतदान, फिर जलपान!
While the RJD had drawn criticisms from the BJP for promising 10 lakh government jobs if voted to power, the saffron brigade later went on to pledge nine lakh more employment and free Covid-19 vaccines for all people of one of the most economically backward Indian states.
The BJP's headache was caused very early in the run up to the election when the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), now run by late former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan's son Chirag Paswan, had decided to go solo in the poll.
However, Chirag Paswan sent mixed signals to the ruling coalition by criticising Kumar and going soft on Modi and his Hindu nationalist party BJP.
इस बार न्याय, रोज़गार, किसान-मज़दूर के लिए— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 28, 2020
आपका वोट हो सिर्फ़ महागठबंधन के लिए।
बिहार के पहले चरण के मतदान की आप सभी को शुभकामनाएँ।#आज_बदलेगा_बिहार
The state polls will also be a referendum on Kumar's handling of Covid-19 situation and migrant workers' crisis during the prolonged lockdown earlier this year.
In a recent video by Mojo, some businessmen were seen angry at Kumar for destroying the state's economy.
While few of them preferred to cast votes for Yadav this time, others cleared that they won't vote for the incumbent.