Bihar polls: Campaigning for 1st phase ends today
New Delhi: The campaigning for first phase of crucial Bihar Assembly polls is set to end Tuesday with the Congress intensifying its attack against the ruling BJP-JD-(U) alliance and RJD chief Lalu Prasad squarely blaming the three main parties for the plight of Bihar.
Congress, which is treating the Assembly election in Bihar as a dress rehearsal before launching its revival process in a state where it has been out of power for almost two decades, is set to release its manifesto today.
According to party sources, the manifesto had been sent to the central high command for final clearance.
Meanwhile, the BJP patriach LK Advani will visit Bihar today to address election meetings in favour of NDA candidates for first leg of the six-phase state Assembly polls starting from October 21.
Advani will address election meetings at Motihari, Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga.
The BJP leadership has also cleared air on media speculations that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had insisted the party to keep Advani, a votary of the Ram temple construction at Ayodhya, and other hardline leaders at bay in order to woo the minorities in good humour for votes.
The ruling allies BJP and JD(U) have also entered into an agreement to hold joint campaigning for NDA candidates if the need arises.
The BJP leadership is confident that the NDA will ride on political consolidation among the electorate to give the ruling coalition and a historic verdict.
The first phase of Bihar election, involving 47 Assembly seats, is believed to be the most crucial for the ruling party at the Centre given the fact that Muslim votes are expected to play a decisive role in at least 25 of these constituencies.
The Congress has fielded its top guns, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, to campaign in the first phase.
While the party’s top leaders sought to nail down the government on the use of Central funds in the state.
The Congress leadership has been treating Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD as its “no.1 enemy” in Bihar. The grand old party of India would like to use the ongoing election as a launch pad to initiate the party’s revival process in the state, which will hinge on winning back its traditional votebanks of dalits, Muslims and upper castes. In a move that is said to have irked the RJD supremo, the Congress has fielded 47 Muslim and 20 Yadav candidates in this election.
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