Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked people in Bihar to go out in large numbers and vote in the first phase of the election to the state assembly, asking voters to maintain coronavirus safety guidelines and wear a mask as they step out to vote. The Bihar election, the first assembly election since the coronavirus outbreak, is being held in the shadow of the pandemic.
“Today is the first phase of voting in the Bihar assembly election. I urge all voters to ensure their participation in this festival of democracy, taking precautions related to Covid. Pay attention to do gaz ki doori (maintaining distance of two yards), do wear a mask. Remember, vote first, then refreshments,” PM Modi tweeted in Hindi.
The three-phase election in Bihar will decide if Nitish Kumar gets a fourth term as the Chief Minister. Voting on 71 of the state’s 243 seats began at 7 am. His challenger is RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, whose promise of 10 lakh jobs has proved a huge draw in the backdrop of the lockdown and widespread unemployment. The third factor in this election is Chirag Paswan, the son of the late Lok Janashakti Party chief Ramvilas Paswan, whose rebellion against the leadership of Nitish Kumar is suspected to be backed by the BJP.
PM Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi are holding high-voltage campaigns for their respective alliances. PM Modi will today have three election rallies in Bihar today (Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur and state capital Patna). Mr Gandhi will address rallies at Valmiki Nagar and Kusheshwar Asthan in Darbhanga district.
PM Modi and Mr Gandhi had kicked off their campaign in Bihar last Friday. While PM Modi had addressed three back-to-back rallies, the Congress leader had his meetings at Hisua in Nawada and Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur district.