Jhanjharpur is divided not just along party lines. Its voters are not only choosing a representative but are participants themselves in a political feud.
They are Brahmins. Poverty has taken everything away from them — except the attitude of the upper caste.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s accusation that Nitish Kumar government was “sheltering terrorists” during a rally in Darbhanga has become a point of discussion.
Akhtar-ul-Iman, chief of AIMIM in Bihar is recontesting from Kocha Dhaman, where he has been the MLA from here twice, having won on an RJD ticket in the previous two elections.
Kishanganj Muslims largely wary of dividing their vote but AIMIM chief finds audience among youth.
Indian officials have been saying that the supplies of essentials were stopped due to the blockade by the Madhesis.
Sympathy for the Madhesi cause is widespread among people living along the border, with their shared ties going back a long way.
Never has the Muslim community witnessed an election so bitter, a campaign so acrimonious, scattering seeds of distrust to pit faith against faith, caste against caste.
Abdul Rehman, 38, is one of the only two Muslim candidates fielded by the BJP, and the only one in Seemanchal.
Excerpts from Abdul Bari Siddiqui's interview in Ali Nagar, from where he has won two consecutive elections on an RJD ticket.
The fear of a split in votes and a Muslim community divided along strict caste lines are a big hurdle. His party is a serious contender in two constituencies — Kochadhaman and Kishanganj town.
After the flood of 2008, there hasn’t been a major flood. Work to build infrastructure is on.
Brahmin ‘first family’ of Madhubani art talks of CM’s visit, the road Jitwarpur got and the museum set up
Bihar Sharif is one constituency where Nitish’s camp is particularly worried in a season when the elections coincide with Durga Puja, Dussehra and Muharram.
Priyapal Bante, a monk of the Chakma tribe and settled in Bodh Gaya, said they are waiting for a Supreme Court verdict. “We expect justice will be done. If not, we will go to the UN,” he said.
Villagers of Bisfi reflect how wounds that should have healed long ago reopen during every election
In Gurua, the BJP replaced sitting legislator Surindra Sinha with Rajiv Nandan, who is from Tikari.
The division reflects the new caste combination that emerged after Manjhi’s party aligned with the BJP.
While the BJP prepares to follow the voters to the booths, maha gathbandan candidates have “left it to God and the janata”.
RJD leader Lalu Prasad told a rally Tuesday he had joined hands with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to “emasculate” Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Maghway village has three booths in its middle school, guarded by the BSF while the Bihar Police manned the gate. “Only central forces are on duty inside,” a policeman said.
The constituency has a high Brahmin population along with Rajputs, Yadavs, Chamars, Musahars, Mallahs and Muslims.
Nitish took on Modi for promises he has made and said he is 'only lying', citing the promises he had made before being elected last year.
The crowd, which was restless after a long wait, didn’t want him to pause — before he arrived, they had hooted out a local leader who tried to address them.
“If Bihar is ahead, it is ahead in apradh (crime), apharan (kidnapping), and in firing incidents and it is the sin of the governments here,” Modi said.
“It’s good that Modiji has come to this battlefield. The ground for this Mahabharata is ready. People will tell him about me,” he said.
Addressing a rally, four days before the first phase of polls in the Bihar, Modi said the country has to stay united as only communal harmony and brotherhood will take the nation forward.
The prayers were organised by a local businessman and social activist Chandan Kumar Singh.
While Lalu Prasad remains a major factor, the decision to vote or oppose a grand alliance candidate will not be based solely on favouring or opposing Lalu.
As Madhesis dig in, a warning: ‘If the Central govt makes a wrong move, it will affect the BJP in the polls’.
“Though it will be long before Bihar rises above caste politics, the younger generation has begun to think a little differently,"
Despite the uncertainty following widespread protests over Nepal’s new Constitution, the situation in Raxaul is calm as officials keep watch on a large group of people gathered in the middle of the bridge that forms the border here.
‘We don’t go around carrying BJP flag... RSS is mother organisation, any support for us is support for BJP’
Raghupati Singh had been arrested and jailed with Nitish during the Emergency. In 2010, he contested on a Congress ticket from Manhar and lost.
As the assembly polls approach, a majority of people in the village and the nearby Harnaut market are offended when asked who they support. For them, voting for Nitish is a foregone conclusion.
Field Muslims in proportion to population or face low turnout: Imarat Shariah
These are the voices of the epic’s female characters, some of them legendary, others known but not much heard from, yet others dimly glimpsed but so far unnamed, and some few invented to bridge lacunae in the narrative.