Elections to 243-member Bihar Assembly will be held in three phases starting from October 28 while the results will be declared on November 10. This will be the first major election in the country in the time of the Covid pandemic. The second and third phase of polls will be held on November 3 and 7, respectively.
While Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) in alliance with the BJP will battle to buck anti-incumbency, the RJD-led opposition alliance will look to pose a formidable challenge to the ruling alliance. As per the final arrangement, the JD(U) will contest 122 seats and the BJP 121, whereas the other partners of the NDA alliance—the Jitam Ram Manjhi-led HAM and Mukesh Sahni’s VIP—will be accommodated in JD(U) and BJP’s quota of seats. The BJP is relying heavily on Modi’s credibility and acceptance in Bihar, amid a deepening pandemic crisis, rising joblessness, slowing economy, and escalating tension with China along the LAC.
|#||No’s of Consituencies||Polling Date||Polling Day||Polling Phase||Counting / Result Date|
|1||71||October 28||Wednesday||1||November 10|
|2||94||November 3||Tuesday||2||November 10|
|3||78||November 7||Saturday||3||November 10|
From the Opposition camp, the RJD will contest 144 seats while the Congress and the Left (CPI-ML, CPI, CPM) will fight on 70 and 29 seats, respectively.
Meanwhile, Chirag Paswan’s LJP has decided to go it alone in the elections, fighting against the JD(U), while continuing to be part of the BJP-led NDA at the Centre. The relationship between JD(U) and LJP had nosedived over the last few months, with the party taking potshots at the Bihar government over its handling of Covid and the migrants crisis that followed the lockdown.
In 2015 polls, JD(U) and RJD had contested elections together and formed the grand alliance government along with the Congress. The RJD had emerged as the single largest party with 80 seats, followed by JD(U) with 71, BJP with 53 and Congress with 27 seats, respectively. However, the JD(U) severed its ties with the RJD in 2017 amid the corruption charges against the latter and went on to form a government with the BJP.