A day ahead of the first phase of polling in Bihar, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday appealed to the state’s voters to bring about a change by voting for the Grand Alliance. Gandhi accused the Nitish Kumar government of being arrogant, adding that they “neither saying good nor doing good”.

“Drunk on power and arrogance, the government in Bihar has deviated from its path,” the Congress chief said in a video message. “The labourers are helpless, the farmers are upset and the youth is disappointed. People are bearing the brunt of the fragile state of the economy. Dalits and Mahadalits have been left on the verge of misery and backward sections of society are also victims of this plight.”

Making a pitch for the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) of Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Left parties, Gandhi said: “It is time for change. Change can bring about new ideas, energy and strength.”

She said people of Bihar have the required talent and skill, but their progress has been halted due to problems like unemployment, migration, price rise and hunger.

She said both the central government in Delhi and the state government in Bihar have ushered in disruptions like demonetisation, coronavirus-induced lockdown and economic shutdown.

Assembly elections in Bihar will be conducted in three phases between October 28 and November 7. The results will be announced on November 10. More than two crore voters will decide the fate of 1,066 candidates on Wednesday across 71 Assembly segments in the first phase of elections.