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#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.

Live Blog

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

23:27 (IST)22 Oct 2020

The Plurals' Party's Pushpam Priya Choudhary, who is offering Bihar 'an alternative politics', tweeted a picture of herself making Mr Spock's sign. Choudhary, who has studied in London, posted: "Instead of leading a restricted life outside, it's better to live and die for one's own land, Bihar."    

21:00 (IST)22 Oct 2020
JD(U) shares pics from Nitish rallies, says 'these are enough to break confidence of opponents'

JD(U) shares pics from Nitish rallies, says 'these are enough to break confidence of opponents'.

20:59 (IST)22 Oct 2020
LJP's Prince Raj holds rallies in Belhar

LJP's Prince Raj today held rallies in Belhar in support of party candidate Kumari Archana.

20:55 (IST)22 Oct 2020
PM Modi to address rallies in Bihar tomorrow

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address rallies in poll-bound Bihar tomorrow. He will address rallies in Sasaram, Gaya and Bhagalpur.

20:39 (IST)22 Oct 2020
I-T raids at Congress' office in Patna; 'this is what is called accepting defeat', says RJD

In an unprecedented development, a team of Income Tax officials arrived at Congress' office in Patna to serve 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 has accepted their defeat in the state elections.

20:09 (IST)22 Oct 2020
'There is a difference between delivering govt jobs and employment': Tejashwi on BJP's job promises

Tejashwi Yadav: "We are giving government jobs, there is a difference between employment and government jobs. What the BJP is saying is like selling pakoda. They say they will try. We have already seen how BJP's promise of creating 2 crore jobs in a year fared."

19:30 (IST)22 Oct 2020
'Bihar's women will teach lesson to Congress alliance': Devendra Fadnavis

"The women of Bihar will decide what lesson they have to teach to the Congress alliance," BJP's Devendra Fadnavis tweeted, citing the potential reversal of liquor ban in Bihar if Mahagathbandhan wins.

18:56 (IST)22 Oct 2020
'Remove this egotistic govt': RJD tweets pictures of migrant labour busts at Durga Puja pandals

Shared pictures of the busts of migrant labours built at Durga Puja pandals, the RJD said it is time to remove this egotistic government.

18:14 (IST)22 Oct 2020
'You were playing with peacocks when people of Bihar were dying': Congress takes alleged dig at PM

Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Bihar Congress tweeted the prime minister was busy playing with peacocks when the people of Bihar were dying due to floods. The tweet was in reference to a recent video shared by PM Modi where he was seen with peacocks at his residence.

17:20 (IST)22 Oct 2020
Congress attacks PM Modi over 'free vaccine' for Bihar promise, says 'you made a big mistake'

Congress attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over BJP's manifesto for Bihar which promised free Covid vaccine for all people in the state. "You made a big mistake by daring to buy Bihar's pride in exchange for the vaccine," the party said in a tweet in Hindi.

17:03 (IST)22 Oct 2020
Congress imposing Lalu's son on Bihar: JD(U)

Dr Alok Ajay of JD(U) today said: "The Congress had imposed this crown prince (Tejashwi) on the state just as it imposed Lalu Yadav in 1990 and its own crown prince (Rahul Gandhi) in 2004. Now they want to impose the illiterate sons of Lalu on Bihar."

16:56 (IST)22 Oct 2020
'BJP knows only how to fool people': RJD on BJP's job promise in manifesto

Taking potshots at the BJP over its poll promise of providing 19 lakh jobs, the RJD said, "Future CM Tejashwi Yadav said has taken the pledge of delivering on the promise of 10 lakh government jobs in his first cabinet meeting. And BJP says measures would be sought to create 19 lakh jobs (not jobs, not government at all).

"Not a promise, just an intention to fool."

16:52 (IST)22 Oct 2020
NDA called Bihar govt double engine govt, now both have failed: CPI(ML)

CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya: "NDA called the Govt of Bihar a Double Engine Govt - now both engines have failed. BJP engine has failed as much as Nitish and JDU have failed."

16:19 (IST)22 Oct 2020
Nitish will again switch to Lalu camp: Chirag Paswan takes dig at Bihar CM

Taking a dig a Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, LJP chief Chirag Paswan said the JD(U) leader will betray the BJP and will switch to the RJD just as he had done in 2015 elections. Taking to Twitter, he said: "Last time, Nitish ji took blessing from Lalu Prasad Yadav and became the Chief Minister, Then Nitish betrayed him and became the CM overnight with the blessings of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Maybe this time as well he switch to Lalu camp after taking blessing from PM Modi."

15:59 (IST)22 Oct 2020
RJD targets BJP, says after making Bihar unemployed they want to give 19 lakh jobs

Upping its attack on the BJP for promising 19 lakh jobs in its manifesto for Bihar polls, RJD today accused the party of being responsible for rising unemployment in the state and now it promises to give jobs during elections.

15:33 (IST)22 Oct 2020
Nitish Kumar addressing from Samastipur

JD(U) chief and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar is addressing a poll rally from Samastipur. Watch here:

14:59 (IST)22 Oct 2020

In a fresh jibe, the Congress asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi where are the 1.25 lakh crore he had promised for the development of Bihar. In a video message shared on the party's Twitter handle, it said, "In every election, you increase the weight of jumalas. False dreams from the stage that you make a palace. The country is asking- where is the package of 1.25 lakh crore?"

14:30 (IST)22 Oct 2020
BJP's Sushil Modi tests Covid positive

BJP leader and Bihar's Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi has tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday. He tweeted: "Tested positive for CORONA.All parameters perfectly normal.Started with mild temp. No temp. for last 2 days.Admitted to AIIMS Patna for better monitoring.CT scan of lungs normal.Will be back soon for campaigning."

14:28 (IST)22 Oct 2020
'If only you had delivered': Congress takes swipe at BJP for promising new jobs in manifesto

Taking a swipe at BJP's poll promise of providing 19 lakh jobs to the people of Bihari, the state Congress tweeted: "If you had delivered on the promise of 2 crore jobs earlier, then there would have been no need for fresh 19 lakh jobs."

13:19 (IST)22 Oct 2020
Amid polls, festivals, migrants continue to leave Bihar

Even as the Opposition in Bihar tries to make the plight of migrant workers an election issue, train passenger data shows high occupancy rates on routes connecting the state with destinations that rely heavily on migrant labour.  The demand has been such that most of the ‘clone’ trains that the Railways has been running to clear the rush on crowded routes have an occupancy of 104-134 per, as per latest data reviewed by The Indian Express. “It was initially thought that migrants who have gone back to their villages would probably stay put till Chhath. But data show that is not the case. They are going back to their jobs,” said a senior Railway Ministry official. Click here to read more

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”.

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