Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan on Tuesday sharpened his criticism of Nitish Kumar and claimed the Janata Dal (United) leader would never be able to become the chief minister again after November 10, the day of results for elections to all the 243 Assembly seats in the state, ANI reported.

Paswan’s declaration came as the second phase of voting began in the state for 94 seats across 17 districts. On one hand, opposition leaders such as Paswan and Tejashwi Yadav are highlighting the incumbent government’s failures, while on the other, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (United) are promising to usher Bihar into a new era of development.

After casting his vote on Tuesday, Paswan said people of the state have given their blessings for a “Nitish-free Bihar” , and for the implementation of his “Bihar first Bihari first” vision – his party’s manifesto for this election.

“You can get me to give you in writing that Nitish Kumar will never again be the CM after November 10,” Paswan told the news agency. “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 suggestions of four lakh Biharis.”

Paswan cast his vote at a polling booth in Khagaria and urged voters to make good use of their electoral right. “After the first phase of polling, the fear of defeat in Nitish Kumarji is not hidden from anyone,” he tweeted. “People have rejected him. I appeal to all not to let the vote go to waste. People have given blessings for a change in Bihar. Nitish free Bihar.......Bihar first Bihari first.”

In a separate tweet, Paswan claimed that Kumar’s poor governance has brought disgrace to the people of Bihar, who often feel “shy about disclosing their Bihari identity”. “In the last 15 years, Bihar has become infamous with bad reputation,” he added. “No improvement in migration, employment, floods. Both teachers and children are living their lives in gloom. A Bihari woman is shy to tell in another state that she is Bihari.”

The Lok Janshakti Party chief added that “democracy has given Bihar an opportunity to change its fate”. “Bihar should look changed with the coming of the next government,” he said.

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