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Monday, November 30, 2020

Bihar Election 2020 highlights: Nitish Kumar has finally accepted he is tired, says Tejashwi

Bihar Assembly Election 2020 highlights: Paswan said that whenever the Congress party or the Mahagathbandhan raises the issue of EVM tampering, it means that they have accepted defeat.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 6, 2020 8:22:11 am
PM Narendra Modi at a rally in Saharsa district. (PTI)

Bihar Election 2020 highlights:  Ahead of the third and final phase of polling in Bihar on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written an open letter to the people of the state. He said that Bihar needs Nitish Kumar government to ensure development in the state. ” Reforms not possible amid mismanagement, anarchy; Nitish Kumar govt needed in Bihar to ensure development schemes continue uninterrupted,” he wrote in an open letter to Bihar.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister and JD(U) Chief Nitish Kumar today said the state Assembly polls would be his last elections. At an election rally in Punria, the three-time chief minister said: “This is my last election.”

Earlier today, mocking Kumar, Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan said that current Chief Minister will bow before RJD leader and Mahagathbandhan’s chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav after the results of the assembly elections are declared on November 10. “The same Prime Minister whom you (Nitish Kumar) were never tired of arguing with or criticising… today you are happy to share a stage with him and bow before him as he asks for votes for you? This shows your greed for power and the greed for the chief minister’s post. After November 10, you will be bowing before Tejashwi Yadav,” he said.

(Click here to follow our full Bihar election coverage)

Meanwhile, exuding confidence to win the ongoing Bihar Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the youth and women of Bihar see hope in NDA as they prefer good governance. “Poor of Bihar know their ‘sevak’ from a backward society and born in poverty is ensuring that not a single poor sleeps hungry,” he added. He also mentioned that every Bihari has always been vocal for local and NDA is committed towards taking that identity to national and global state. Follow #Politics LIVE updates

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53% voter turnout recorded in second phase of elections. Follow highlights here

01:33 (IST)06 Nov 2020
Citing Bihar turnout, CEC urges other democracies to hold polls on time

Citing the successful conduct of Bihar elections amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Thursday urged other democracies to emulate India’s example and hold elections on time.

Arora, who was speaking at a virtual conference organised by the Election Commission (EC) to familiarise other countries with India’s experience of conducting polls amid the pandemic, said that the EC had been discouraged from holding the Bihar Assembly polls on time, with “cynics” and “sceptics” giving “doomsday predictions”. Read more

01:00 (IST)06 Nov 2020
Nitish has finally accepted he is tired: Tejashwi

Reacting to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar saying this was his last election, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav Thursday tweeted he had long said that Nitish is tired now, and the CM had finally proved him right. 

00:20 (IST)06 Nov 2020
Will not allow anybody to grab an inch of India's territory, Rajnath in poll rally

No power in the world will be allowed to capture an inch of Indian territory nor will India occupy an inch of a foreign land, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh asserted on Thursday, and flayed the Congress for allegedly questioning the valour of the armed forces of the country. Addressing two rallies on the last day of campaign for the final phase of Bihar assembly elections to be held on Saturday, the former BJP president exuded confidence that people will vote the NDA back to power for its developmental works and good governance. PTI

21:16 (IST)05 Nov 2020
Watch: 3 things you need to know about Bihar polls today

From Nitish annoucing this is his last election to PM Modi writing an open letter to Bihar, all you need to knowBihar Election Update: Did Nitish Kumar announce this will be his last election? 

From Nitish annoucing this is his last election to PM Modi writing an open letter to Bihar, all you need to know

19:04 (IST)05 Nov 2020
In Bihar, Nadda raises US polls: ‘Trump blamed for Covid mishandling, Modi saved us’

Drawing a comparison between India and the United States in terms of tackling the Covid pandemicBJP president J P Nadda Thursday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi saved many lives with his “timely decision” of lockdown whereas President Donald Trump has been battling allegations that he did not handle the crisis properly. 

18:50 (IST)05 Nov 2020
Bihar would move forward since “tired and retired” Nitish Kumar-led government had accepted retirement: Surjewala

Taking a dig at Kumar over his 'last election' announcement, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said now Bihar would move forward since “tired and retired” Nitish Kumar-led government had accepted retirement.

17:28 (IST)05 Nov 2020
People have faith that only NDA government can develop Bihar: PM Modi

Ahead of the third and final phase of polling in Bihar on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written an open letter to the people of the state. "People have faith that only NDA government can develop Bihar," PM Modi wrote in his four-page letter in Hindi.

17:21 (IST)05 Nov 2020
Nitish Kumar is running way from accountability: Chirag Paswan

LJP leader Chirag Paswan also sharply reacted to CM Nitish Kumar's 'last election' announcement saying Kumar is running way from accountability.

17:08 (IST)05 Nov 2020
Upendra Kushwaha on Bihar CM's last election announcement: 'Right decision at right time'

Reacting to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar's announcement, RLSP president Upendra Kushwaha on Thursday said that Kumar made the right decision on right time.

16:45 (IST)05 Nov 2020
This is my last election, says Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

As campaigning for Bihar Assembly election ends today, state Chief Minister and JD(U) Chief Nitish Kumar on Thursday said the state Assembly polls would be his last elections. At an election rally in Punria, three-time chief minister said: “This is my last election” This is my last election, says Bihar CM and JD(U) Chief Nitish Kumar during an election rally in Purnia#BiharElections2020 pic.twitter.com/vLSL4uQd4v— ANI (@ANI) November 5, 2020

14:15 (IST)05 Nov 2020
Nitish Kumar will bow before Tejashwi after Nov 10: Chirag Paswan

Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan on Thursday said that current Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will bow before RJD leader and Mahagathbandhan's chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav after the results of the assembly elections are declared on November 10. "The same Prime Minister whom you (Nitish Kumar) were never tired of arguing with or criticising... today you are happy to share a stage with him and bow before him as he asks for votes for you? This shows your greed for power and the greed for the chief minister's post. After November 10, you will be bowing before Tejashwi Yadav," Chirag Paswan was quoted by news agency ANI.

13:16 (IST)05 Nov 2020
Who will send anyone out of country: Nitish attacks ‘rumours’ on CAA

Addressing rallies Wednesday in the Seemanchal region in the state’s northeast, which has a sizeable minority community, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reached out to Muslims, addressing fears over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and reminding the crowds that his government had increased salaries for teachers in madrasas. With the region seeing widespread protests against the CAA, Nitish said at Kishanganj that his government had worked to “spread love, peace and brotherhood”, and “nobody had the strength to send anyone out of the country”.

Attacking those “spreading rumours on the CAA and NRC (National Register of Citizens)”, the JD(U) leader said, “Who keeps spreading misinformation, keeps talking rubbish? Who will send anyone out of the country? Nobody has the strength to do that to our people. Sab Hindustan ke hain, sab Bharat ke hain. Kaun isko bahar karega (All belong to Hindustan, all belong to Bharat. Who will throw anyone out)?” Read more here

11:45 (IST)05 Nov 2020
Whenever Cong or Mahagathbandhan raises the issue of EVM, it means they've accepted defeat: Chirag Paswan

LJP leader Chirag Paswan on Thursday said that whenever the Congress party or the Mahagathbandhan parties raise the issue of EVM tampering, it means that they have accepted defeat. His remarks came a day after Rahul Gandhi called Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) “Modi Voting Machines” (MVMs) but said the people of Bihar are angry this time and they have decided to oust the BJP-JD(U) government from power in Bihar.

Talking to reporters, Paswan said, "I will not comment on their statements but whenever the Congress party or Mahagathbandhan party members raise issues on EVM, it means that they have accepted defeat, because they don't raise these issues in states where their party is in power."

11:14 (IST)05 Nov 2020
Tejashwi Yadav addresses rally in Saharsa

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav addresses a public rally in Bihar's Saharsa. Watch here:

10:32 (IST)05 Nov 2020
BJP's campaigners today

BJP's campaigners today

10:10 (IST)05 Nov 2020
Don't appreciate the way Nitish reacted: Chirag Paswan on onion pelted during CM's election rally

LJP leader Chirag Paswan on Thursday said that he didn't like the way Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reacted when onion were pelted during the his election rally in Harlakhi on Tuesday. "Instead of asking people to come to him and talk about their problems, he (CM) instigated them and said 'pheko, pheko, aur pheko.' I don't appreciate the way he reacted," Paswan said addressing a gathering.

An onion was thrown at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as he was addressing a rally in Madhubani’s Harlakhi area on Tuesday. While it did not reach Nitish, his security staff rushed to shield him. Nitish was speaking about employment for marginalised sections when the incident occurred at the Madhubani rally, which goes to polls in the third phase. “We will give opportunities to Scheduled castes, Scheduled Tribes, and the Extremely Backward Classes…,” Nitish was saying as the onion was hurled. He was addressing a rally in support of his party nominee Sudhanshu Shekhar at Gangaur village ground in Harlakhi Assembly constituency.

09:05 (IST)05 Nov 2020
Centre harasses you… our government will be for all: Tejashwi, Rahul in Bihar

Addressing a rally in Baisi, in Seemanchal, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav attacked the Modi government over laws to “harass” people. In a veiled reference to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the Mahagathbandhan’s CM candidate said, the Centre “has harassed you by bringing in different laws… I stood with you at that time. Let’s not get divided now.”  

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who also addressed a rally in Seemanchal (in Araria), apart from Bihariganj in Madhepura from where Sharad Yadav’s daughter is contesting, said Modi and CM Nitish Kumar were the same. “Some talk about Modiji, some about Nitishji. The truth is they are one… Because Nitishji helps Narendra Modi and Modi makes Nitish CM. So there should not be any misunderstanding….” Read Wali Ahmad and Manoj CG's report here

07:58 (IST)05 Nov 2020
Ramji Gautam: BSP man for all seasons, and elections in three states

For a man who figures in three of the most-watched elections across three states, not much is known about Ramji Gautam — just like how BSP supremo Mayawati likes her party leaders to be, known but not seen or heard. The 41-year-old Dalit leader who is the Bihar Assembly elections and Madhya Pradesh bypolls in-charge for the BSP has just entered the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh. More precisely, despite the BSP having an effective strength of only 15 in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, Gautam won unopposed, with the BJP supporting him. Soon after, Mayawati declared that her party would back anybody, including the BJP, in the Legislative Council polls to keep the Samajwadi Party out — later, she said the BSP could never go with the BJP. Read more here

07:07 (IST)05 Nov 2020
Tejashwi challenge: Voters look for ‘Kejriwal-type’ clean slate

One of the RJD’s many Modi-style campaign posters carries a picture of Tejashwi Yadav and this appeal: “Mujhse kahiye… main sunoonga, main karoonga (Talk to me… I will listen, I will act)”. But travel in Bihar and it seems the voter who is looking for change is searching for an “Arvind Kejriwal-type” option, a “teesri vikalp” — a (third) alternative with a clean slate.

Tejashwi, the candidate with a past, will need to overcome the hesitations of this voter to talk to him, and listen to him, outside of the RJD’s Muslim-Yadav base. From Sasaram in the south to Darbhanga in the north, there are visible signs of consolidation in the RJD’s core M-Y base. Among Yadavs, many point to the arresting image of this contest: A lone Tejashwi versus Everyone — Modi plus Nitish plus Yogi plus Fadnavis plus an array of Central ministers and BJP star campaigners.

“Whatever the result, he has made the BJP sweat,” says an RJD strategist in Lalu’s residence in Patna, where the picturesque verandah in which Lalu preferred to hold informal and imperious court lies forlorn, a bland office complex behind it the new hub of activity. Read more here

01:47 (IST)05 Nov 2020
At Bihar poll rally, Yogi blames Arnab Goswami's arrest on Congress

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday squarely blamed the Congress for the arrest of journalist Arnab Goswami in connection with an abetment to suicide case in Maharashtra where the party is a junior partner in the ruling coalition headed by the Shiv Sena. Addressing an election rally in north Bihar district of Madhubani, the firebrand BJP leader asserted that the arrest was made "for satisfaction of ego" an allusion to Goswami's often strident criticism of the Congress and his supposed leanings towards the saffron party. "The Congress has always sought to throttle democracy in the country. It did so in 1975 by clamping the Emergency. Only today, a leading journalist of the country has been arrested," said Yogi without mentioning Goswami by name. The arrest, made in connection with a two-year-old case, was "an assault on the fourth pillar of democracy", he said. PTI

Voters undergo thermal screening at a polling station as they arrive to cast their votes for the second phase of Bihar Assembly Elections, in Muzaffarpur district, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Addressing an election rally at Bihariganj, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked the two NDA leaders, Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar over job creation. He said that Kumar had promised he would provide jobs to the youth and "change" Bihar, but he could not deliver. "When youths today ask Kumar during his public meetings about the jobs he had promised, he threatens them, chases them away and gets them thrashed," Gandhi alleged.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi sharpened his attack on the RJD-led Grand Alliance and said on Tuesday that those who brought “jungle raj” to Bihar and their allies didn’t want people to chant “Bharat Mata ki jai” or “Jai Shri Ram”.

Addressing a rally in Saharsa, which goes to polls in the third phase on November 7, Modi said: “Bihar ko jungle raj banane ke saathi, unki kareebi chahate, kya chahate hai aap ko pata hai? Woh chahate hai aap ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ ke naaare na lagaye. Sochiye, humara desh, humari Bharat Mata, lekin aaise bhi log humare saamne hai jo Bharat Ma ki jai bolne se, inko bukhaar aa jata hai… Chhatthi maiyan ko poojne wali is dharti par, jungle raj ke saathi chahate hai ki Bharat Ma ki jai ke naare na lage. Woh chahate hai, aap ‘Jai Shri Ram’ bhi na bole (Those who brought jungle raj to Bihar, their associates, do you know what they want? They want that you don’t chant ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’. Our country, our Bharat Mata, but there are such people who get a fever if you chant ‘Bharat Ma ki jai’… On this land, where Goddess Chhatthi is worshipped, they don’t want the ‘Bharat Ma ki jai’ slogan raised. They also don’t want you to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.) (Click here to follow our full Bihar polls coverage)

Once upon a time, Bihar’s other Yadav brothers

The tenure of Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi as chief ministers remained in news both for in-laws and outlaws. When Lalu got married to Rabri from Gopalganj, his in-laws were in fact financially better off, and Lalu was ostensibly picked for his political future.

Express interviews: Tejashwi Yadav | JP Nadda | Kanhaiya Kumar   | KC Tyagi | Asaduddin Owaisi

Once Lalu became CM, and more specifically, after Rabri took over the post, Bihar saw the rise of her brothers Anirudh Prasad alias Sadhu Yadav and Subhash Yadav. The RJD chief gave Sadhu two terms as MLC on sports quota in the mid-1990s, and in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Sadhu stood from the Gopalganj seat and won, even as Subhash was nominated to the Rajya Sabha same year.

Bihar: ‘Waited years for bijli, can’t wait for everything’

Around 10 km from Bhagalpur city, the Yadav-dominated twin village of Koyli-Khutaha is affluent by usual standards. Houses are mostly all pucca, motorcycles and SUVs are parked outside many of them, and several bikes bear the blue and red colour number plates used by Bihar Police personnel. But this affluence stops at the door steps: overflowing drains, the absence of a health centre and proper school, and a bank or even an ATM, mark the two hamlets of over 10,000 people, which have hundreds in the Army and police.

There is one aspect though in which Koyli-Khutaha’s story is distinct from other Bihar villages. In April 1991, the two clashed over installation of electricity poles. In the 30 years since, violence over the issue, latest in 2019, has left 20 dead, and 27 sentenced to life.

Key players: Sushil Kumar Modi | Jagadanand Singh | Pappu Yadav | Jitan Ram Manjhi

Among the major political parties, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) is contesting in 35 of the 71 seats, followed by its ally BJP (29), while the opposition RJD has fielded its candidates in 42 and its coalition partner Congress is in the fray in 20 assembly segments.

Lok Janshakti Party, headed by Chirag Paswan, is in the fray in 41 seats, which include all the 35 contested by the JD(U), in keeping with the call given by the young party president, who recently pulled out of the NDA in the state, to "dislodge" the chief minister from power.

Other prominent leaders who have campaigned in the state so far include Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani, Congress leaders Raj Babbar and Shatrughan Sinha, BSP supremo Mayawati and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi. CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar also joined the campaign, mainly for candidates of the Left parties. Kumar, in an interview, told Indian Express that Bihar elections are not going to be one-sided and there is much anger, especially against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Also Read: His base shrinking, Nitish hopes voter cheering Modi will carry him along

Also Read: In BJP bastion Bhagalpur, a contender: ‘unguided missile’ LJP