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The Election Commission's press conference to announce the state polls would take place at 12.30 pm
The Election Commission's press conference to announce the state polls would take place at 12.30 pm

Election Commission to announce Bihar poll dates today

  • Stakes are high in Bihar for National Democratic Alliance which has a considerable alliance in the state but is facing problem among allies on the question of seat sharing

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission (EC) will announce the schedule for the upcoming assembly elections in Bihar on Friday as chief minister Nitish Kumar and senior leaders of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prepare to face electoral test to retain power in the state for fourth consecutive time.

For the first time, the main opposition party in the state Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) will contest the polls without its leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, the former chief minister of Bihar.

The Election Commission's press conference to announce the state polls would take place at 12.30 pm, an EC official said. The briefing is likely to be addressed by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Sushil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar.

Stakes are high in Bihar for National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which has a considerable alliance in the state but is facing problem among allies on the question of seat sharing. Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), led by union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, has not just demanded greater share in seat sharing but has also questioned the leadership of Kumar in the state.

Senior leaders of LJP point out that the management of covid-19 in the state and reverse migration of over 3 million labourers to their home in Bihar have raised questions over the leadership of Kumar.

The NDA, under Kumar, is focusing on development programmes of both the central and state governments with an emphasis on the programme of water for all. NDA leaders are also confident that the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Kumar would help the alliance retain power in the state.

Apart from Bihar, Madhya Pradesh by-polls on 27 assembly seats is also going to be announced on Friday. The bypolls could decide the fate of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state. The mini election in the state is a prestige contest for former chief minister Kamal Nath led-Congress party, which had lost power about six months ago after a section of rebel MLAs resigned.

This would be the first round of state elections since the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic in the country. EC has issued detailed guidelines keeping in mind health concerns and social distancing norms.

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