Bihar poll campaigning ends; rival alliances claim they will win
Counting of votes in Bihar will be taken up on November 8.
Patna: As the heat and dust of high-octane electioneering in Bihar settled down on Tuesday, rival alliances -- BJP-led NDA and the JD(U)-led Grand Alliance -- today claimed they will romp home winners and that the other side will be taught a "bitter lesson".
As sparks flew even in the dying minutes of the campaign that spanned several weeks ahead of the fifth and final phase of voting for 57 seats on Thursday, Bihar Chief Minister again raked up Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'DNA' remark and asked people to give a fitting reply to the barb by voting in favour of the Grand Secular Alliance. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 8.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad also reacted sharply to Modi's barb at him and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar that they have merely six days to rejoice power and said Modi will himself learn the "bitter lesson" in that period that would trigger strong reaction among BJP's allies in NDA.
Pooh poohing various survey reports projecting that poll results will be too close to call, BJP leader and Union Minister Ananth Kumar claimed the NDA will get a decisive mandate with a two-third majority.
"Chah dino mein PM ko Chhti ka dudh yada kara dengi janata"(Public will teach a bitter lesson to PM in six days), Prasad told reporters.
Later, addressing a public meeting at Bahadurpur in Darbhanga, Prasad said, "PM might be forced to quit after results of Bihar poll would come on November 8."
Nitish took on Modi again over his DNA barb on the last day of the poll campaign.
"The prime minister said that my DNA is wrong. Does it behove the prime minister or the dignity attached with the post ? If my DNA is wrong, then why you (people) elected me the chief minister twice ?"
Kumar said he is not arrogant but a Bihari who will not let anyone go unchallenged if he/she attacks the self respect of Bihar and its people.
"If (you think) my DNA is not wrong, then give them (BJP) a reply by voting in favour of secular alliance on November 5," he said at a rally in Darbhanga.
Modi, while attacking Nitish Kumar at a rally in Muzaffarpur on July 25, much before the poll dates were announced, had said that it seemed that there was "some problem with Nitish Kumar?s DNA" referring to the frequent changes in his political allegiance.
LJP chief and Union minister Ramvilas Paswan asked Prasad to stop "nautanki" (drama) after he claimed a BJP defeat.
Union Minister of State Ramkripal Yadav slammed his former RJD boss and said "both Lalu and Nitish Kumar would know 'Chhti ka Dudh' in next six days."
Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan also hit out at the RJD supremo and asked him to "stop making irrelevant statements."
Anant Kumar said he noted a consistency in the voting pattern of the electorate in states and at the national level to decisively vote for a particular party or alliance at the hustings and the trend will be the same in Bihar as well and in favour of the NDA.
He trashed various survey reports which predicted that the poll outcome will be too close to call.
"We have no doubt that the NDA will get a decisive mandate with two-third majority that will enable us to end 25 year-rule by the RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and incumbent Chief Minister Nitish Kumar," Ananth Kumar, a key BJP strategist for Bihar assembly polls, said.