On the last day of campaigning for the first phase of elections in 71 constituencies, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar made a personal attack against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad, claiming he had no faith on daughters.:Is this kind of ideal you want to be followed".
He made these comments at Mahuva in Vaishali district from where the elder son of Lalu Prasad, Tej Pratap Yadav was elected to the state assembly in 2015. This time, he has shifted to Hasanpur in Samastipur district.
Nitish said these (Lalu-Rabri) are the leaders who have 8-9 children, including seven daughters. But, they have no faith in their daughters and promoted sons only.
In assembly elections, none of the seven daughters of Lalu-Rabri has been visible in the campaign. Misa Bharti, MP and eldest daughter, was active in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and as well as in the 2015 assembly elections. Now, the entire show has been hijacked by the youngest son - Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, who has been projected as the chief ministerial candidate against the incumbent Nitish Kumar.
Nitish also attacked Lalu’s family for “betraying” veteran leader and RJD vice-president, Raghuwansh Prasad Singh, even at the last stage of his hospital days.
Elections for 71 constituencies spread in 16 districts, mos in the once Maoist-affected central Bihar, will be held on Wednesday. This is the first mass election exercise during the coronavirus period in Asia.
In the 2015 assembly elections, RJD had captured 27 seats, the JD(U) had won 18, the BJP 13 and the CPI(ML) and the HAM(S) each won one seat, respectively.
Those in the fray on Wednesday are the former chief minister and HAM’s president Jeetan Ram Manjhi, who faces former speaker and RJD candidate Uday Narain Chaudhry in Imamganj, Commonwealth gold medalist Shreyanshi Singh and her rival sitting RJD MLA Vijay Prakash, and a jailed don, Anant Singh as RJD candidate against Rajiv Lochan of the Congress.
Eight cabinet colleagues of Nitish Kumar are also facing elections once again.
On the last day of first phase campaign, RLSP president and chief ministerial candidate of Grand Democratic Secular Front Upendra Kushwaha announced that there would be four deputy chief ministers in Bihar if he was elected CM. He said representatives of Muslims, Dalits, extremely backward castes and upper castes would all be deputy chief ministers under him.
All the constituencies going to polls on Wednesday are considered significant as caste and class clashes took places in all these districts, be it Bhojpur, Kaimur, Rohtas, Arwal, Nalanda, Aurangabad, Jahananabd, Gaya or Jamui. Massacres were common in the late 90s in these areas and once Indira Gandhi had even travelled to one of the massacre-hit villages, Belchi, on an elephant as there were no roads linking the village.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, BJP president J P Nadda, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, former chief minister of Jharkhand Raghubar Das, and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar were included in the list of star campaigners during the first phase, which was also marked by the coronavirus claiming lives of two ministers.
Top BJP leaders, including former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, BJP general secretaries Saudan Singh, Bhupinder Yadav, and half a dozen MPs are down with the virus. Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who contracted the coronavirus during his campaign, is admitted in the coronavirus ward of AIIMS, along with health minister Mangal Pandey and former agriculture minister Narendra Singh.
Three people, including a candidate, were gunned down during the pre-poll violence in Sheohar when the campaign was at its peak on Saturday night.