New Delhi: BJP on Saturday claimed NDA will win a big majority in Bihar polls, asserting that it will bag between 55-65 seats out of 81 which have gone to polls in the first two phases amid claims by grand alliance leaders that they had so far got the better of the saffron combine.
Describing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as their "biggest advantage" against the JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance, a top BJP leader said Modi will hold 13 more rallies in the state, rejecting reports that the party had cancelled some of his rallies to shift focus from him, a point also made by disgruntled party MP Shatrughan Sinha.
Amid a lull of 12 days due to Durga Puja before the third phase of polling is held on October rpt October 28, the party leader said the NDA will lead the grand alliance of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad by a big margin in the next phase and "sweep" the fourth phase, scheduled for November 1.
"Reports of Modiji's rallies being cancelled are totally misleading. No rally has been cancelled. We had announced that the Prime Minister will address 20 rallies in Bihar and he will be holding a total of 22 rallies, including 13 more," he said, adding that Modi will address four rallies each in the third and fourth phase and another five in the last phase.
Party chief Amit Shah has held 29 rallies and will address 18-20 more.
Asked what was the biggest advantage the NDA had in Bihar against Lalu-Nitish combine, he said it was Modi.
Asserting that the grand alliance of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) and Lalu Prasad's RJD had totally fragmented due to their internal contradictions, he said RJD will win double the seats of JD(U) due to the former's bigger support base compared to Kumar's party.
Though development was the top priority for voters, he contended that even the caste equation was also in favour of the BJP-led NDA as the grand alliance has given maximum seats to three communities of Yadavs, Muslims and Kurmis which total 35 per cent of population, leaving the rest for the saffron combine.
He also termed the elections in the fifth phase covering the Kosi and Simanchal regions, which have high concentration of Muslims, as the "most thrilling" contest in the history of country's politics.
57 seats, more than in any other phase, will go to polls in the fifth phase on November 5. 50 and 55 seats will go to polls in the third and fourth phases. The first two phases saw elections in 49 and 32 seats respectively. Counting of votes will take place on November 8.