The second phase of Assembly elections in Bihar was held on Tuesday. Over 53% of the electorate turned up to vote in 94 seats across 17 districts.
Of the 94 seats going to polls in the second phase, the Rashtriya Janata Dal is contesting 56, the Bharatiya Janata Party 46 and the JD(U) 43. Congress has candidates in 24 constituencies while the three Left parties are fighting on 14 seats. The Opposition’s chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav is one of the 1,464 candidates in fray.
In the first phase on October 28, voting was held for 71 seats and a turnout of around 55% was recorded. 78 seats will go to polls in the last phase on November 7. Results for all 243 constituencies will be declared on November 10.
Here are the day’s top updates:
6.53 pm: Senior Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha says critics of Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav will be “khamoshed” (silenced) when results for the Assembly polls are declared on November 10, reports The Indian Express. Sinha says the Grand Alliance is headed for a “landslide” win.
6.49 pm: Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Raj Kumar Singh says there is no contest and the BJP-JDU alliance was winning, reports ANI. He cast his vote in Patna.
6.45 pm: Onions were thrown at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during a rally in Madhubani, according to NDTV. The miscreant, however, missed hitting the chief minister. After the attacker was caught, Kumar asked the security personnel to let him go, saying not to pay attention to him.
6.38 pm: Bihar has recorded 51.82% voter turnout till 5 pm in the second phase of elections, according to the Election Commission.
4.12 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says people of Bihar had made a mistake by voting for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last elections, reports ANI. “In Chhattisgarh farmers get Rs 2,500 per quintal for paddy, here you get Rs 700,” he says at a rally in Katihar. “What mistake did you make? You voted for Nitish ji and Modi ji. Now is the time to rectify the mistake.”
4.10 pm: Bihar has recorded 44.49% voter turnout till 3 pm in the second phase of bye-elections, according to the Election Commission.
3:05 pm: Speaking at an election rally in Katihar district’s Korha, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the central government offered no help to the migrant labours who were forced to walk back to their villages during the lockdown, reported Aaj Tak.
2:55 pm: A voter turnout of 32.82% was recorded in Bihar till 1 pm, according to the Election Commission’s website.
1.25 pm: Modi adds that it is time to turn Bihar into a “modern state,” according to the Hindustan Times.
1.16 pm: Modi criticises the Opposition and blames them for bringing chaos upon Bihar. “Every citizen of Bihar is well aware of the betrayal of Janagaraj,” he adds, according to ANI. “Those who repeatedly claimed to work for the poor have kept the poor away from this election. The poor of Bihar did not have the right to form a government of their own.”
1.12 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his second rally of the day in Bihar’s Saharsa.
1.10 pm: A voter turnout of 19.30% was recorded in Bihar till 11 am, according to the Election Commission’s website.
11.55 am: The prime minister criticises the Congress party. “The public cannot be fooled for long, look at what condition the public has put Congress party in...” he tells the crowd in Forbesganj. “Today they do not even have a total of 100 MPs in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...people still punish them whenever there’s a chance.”
11.50 am: Modi says in the last decade, every house in Bihar got electricity and gas connections. “Now, from 2021 to 2030, it is time to fulfill more aspirations of the people of Bihar,” he adds.
11.37 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a rally in Forbesganj in Araria district, reports ANI. “Not just the country, Bihar is giving message to the world,” he says, according to ANI. “In Covid-19 times, people are coming out in huge numbers to vote. This is democracy’s power and every Bihari’s devotion for it. Think tanks around the world will evaluate how deeply democracy is entrenched in Indian minds.”
11.33 am: Voter turnout recorded at 8.11% till 9 am, according to the Election Commission’s website.
11.31 am: Voting under way at Rajendra Nagar.
11.29 am: Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi urges people to step out of their homes to cast votes, but appeals for maintaining physical distancing, reports ANI.
11.28 am: Janata Dal (United’s) Parsa candidate Chandrika Rai criticises Paswan, says he stays in Delhi and has no idea about “ground realities”. “Chirag Paswan stays in Delhi, he isn’t aware of ground realities,” he tells ANI. “He wears nice clothes and belongs to five-star culture.”
11.25 am: Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan says Nitish Kumar will not become chief minister again. “You can get me to give you in writing that Nitish Kumar will never again be the Chief Minister after November 10,” he tells ANI. “I will have no role to play, I want ‘Bihar first, Bihari first’. I want work to be done as per the vision document prepared by the suggestions of four lakh Biharis.”
11.21 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address two election rallies on Tuesday, concluding his campaign for the three-phase state polls, reports Hindustan Times. One of the rallies will be held in Forbesganj in Seemanchal, and the other at Saharsa in Kosi.
8.28 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be campaigning in Bihar today, appeals to the people of the state to cast their vote, while adhering to the government-mandated physical distancing norms to contain the spread of coronavirus. “My appeal to all voters is that they make this celebration of democracy successful by voting in large numbers,” he tweets.
7.24 am: Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi casts his vote in Rajendra Nagar, Patna.
7.21 am: The Election Commission had issued detailed guidelines for campaigning as well as voting. This time, only 1,000 voters will be allowed in a polling booth. Thermal scanners, hand sanitiser, soap and water will be made available for the voters. Postal ballot facility has been offered to those above 80 years of age or those infected with Covid-19.
The polling hours have been extended too. This time, voting will start from 7 am and continue till 6 pm. However, the revised timings will not be applicable to areas affected by Left Wing Extremism.
7.21 am: Prominent names who will be seeking re-election from their respective seats are BJP ministers Nand Kishore Yadav from Patna City, and Rana Randhir from Madhuban.
State BJP vice president Nitish Mishra, son of former Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra and a former minister himself, is in the fray from Jhanjharpur. He won from there on a JD(U) ticket in 2010, but lost to the RJD five years later when he contested as a BJP candidate.
7.19 am: Tejashwi Yadav is contesting from Raghopur against Satish Kumar of the BJP, and Rakesh Raushan of the Lok Janshakti Party. His brother, Tej Pratap Yadav, is contesting from Hasanpur, where he faces a challenge from two-time sitting MLA Rajkumar Rai of the JD(U).
7.19 am: In 28 seats, RJD candidates will be in direct contest with BJP nominees, while on 24 seats they will be taking on JD(U) candidates, according to NDTV. Congress candidates will be contesting 12 seats each against the JD(U) and BJP nominees. The VIP candidates, meanwhile, are pitched against RJD candidates on all five seats they are contesting.
7.13 am: Of the 94 seats at stake in this phase, the Rashtriya Janata Dal is contesting 56, the Bharatiya Janata Party 46 and the JD(U) 43. The Congress has put up candidates in 24 constituencies while the three Left parties are in the fray in 14 seats. The National Democratic Alliance’s ally Vikasheel Insaan Party will be contesting five seats out of total 11 seats allotted to them.
7.10 am: The second phase of the Assembly elections begins in Bihar with voting for 94 seats across 17 districts. Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Tejashwi Yadav, the Opposition’s chief ministerial face, is among the 1,464 contestants who are in the fray.