#Politics: I-T raids at Congress’ office in Patna; ‘this is what is called accepting defeat’, says RJD
The opposition RJD, however, sought to know if Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who announced a series of promises at the party headquarters in Patna, had anything on offer to accord Bihar special status.
#Politics: Politicians are counting on the digital mediums to reach out to the voters. (Pixabay)
In an unprecedented development, a team of Income Tax officials arrived at Congress’ office in Patna to serve a notice after money was allegedly recovered from a vehicle parked outside their compound. Reacting to the development, Congress’ ally RJD said it clearly shows that the BJP-JD(U) combine have accepted their defeat in the state elections.
The BJP in Bihar on Thursday released its poll manifesto for the upcoming Assembly elections with a special focus on the distribution of free coronavirus vaccines and 19 lakh jobs for all. The opposition RJD, however, sought to know if Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who announced a series of promises at the party headquarters in Patna, had anything on offer to accord Bihar special status.
Meanwhile, political parties have intensified their campaign with the first phase of voting less than a week away. Earlier in the day, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav shared a caricature of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, saying that the duo had cheated the people of the state despite being given multiple chances to develop Bihar.
On Wednesday, taking a severe view of crowded rallies held recently in Bihar, the Election Commission warned political parties of action if its instructions on maintaining crowd discipline and taking Covid-related precautions during campaigning are violated again.
With 7.3 crore voters, the elections in Bihar is not only the first major electoral exercise in India since the Covid-19 outbreak, but also the largest anywhere in the world so far. The elections are scheduled to be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7. The counting of votes will take place on November 10.
Ahead of Bihar Assembly elections, BJP, JD(U), LJP, Congress, RLD bank on social media to reach voters. Follow live updates and latest news below
For starters, this is going to be the shortest Assembly election in 15 years. Polling will be held in just three phases, as opposed to five in 2015 and four in 2005. In 2000, Bihar and Jharkhand were one state. To maintain social distancing, the Commission has capped the maximum number of voters per booth at 1,000 — down from 1,500 in 2015. This has prompted a 60% increase in the number of polling stations — from 65,367 in 2015 to 1,06,526. More polling stations means more polling personnel. According to an EC official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the Commission will have to depute roughly an additional 2 lakh personnel this time.
Election campaigning is expected to be subdued this time, with the EC imposing limits and restrictions to avoid crowding. For instance, it has capped the size of the campaign squad to five people for door-to-door visits and allowed only five cars, instead of 10, in a candidate’s convoy for roadshows. Only two people will accompany a candidate for filing her nomination papers.
Although the EC has permitted physical campaigning for candidates and political parties — while following social distancing norms — it has said the maximum number of attendees at a rally or a gathering should not “exceed the limit prescribed by State Disaster Management Authority for public gatherings”.