BIHAR POLLS.. First opinion poll says BJP will win more seats than RJD; raises possibility of BJP CM in state after polls

NEW DELHI: Bihar seems set for a curious twist of tale. The NDA alliance will win 160 of the 243 seats in the November assembly polls, says a Times Now-CVoter opinion poll. It also says the BJP will win 85 seats against its ally the JDU’s 70 seats, meaning Nitish Kumar could lose the CM post in the next government.

The 69-year-old Nitish is chief minister of the state for most part, from 2004, and carrying a 15-year-rec0rd in this post. The polls are set in phases from October 28 to November 7 and the results are expected on November 10.

The survey that covered all the assembly constituencies came up with the conclusion that the Congress-led UPA could altogether get 76 seats, of which the RJD of Lalu Prasad can get the maximum of 56 seats. Lalu’s two sons are leading the campaign for RJD in the absence of the Bihar strongman, who is serving a jail term over a fodder scam verdict. The Congress could get a maximum of 15 seats, as per the survey.

The JDU will contest 115 seats and the BJP 110 seats. The Lok Janshakti Party of deceased Ram Vilas Paswan, now led by his son Chirag, is contesting 143 seats on its own, after straying away from the NDA alliance over its differences with chief minister Nitish Kumar. The RJD is contesting 144 seats and the Congress 70 seats.

Veteran Bollywood actor-turned parliamentarian, Shatrughan Sinha, is helping the UPA campaign in Bihar this time. He had broken away from the BJP before the last Lok Sabha polls.

Chirag, fighting the polls alone, will be in an advantageous position if there is going to be a hung assembly – a situation of both the NDA and the UPA not being able to muster the necessary 122 seats to form the next ministry. This is likely, too. 

Crafty Nitish Kumar who belongs to a numerically weak Backward Community, Kurmis forming only four per cent of the population, has managed equations in such a way that he kept BC strongman Lalu Prasad and his party away from power since 2005. Kumar, who had earlier allied with the BJP broke away from the NDA later and carried on in power for years, after which he returned to the NDA fold.

If the BJP manages to win more seats than the JDU, and the NDA in a position to form the next government in Bihar, it is likely that Ravishankar Prasad, Union minister for Law, could be brought in. It would be after a long time after Congress party’s Jagannath Mishra that the state will have a Brahmin chief minister, in such an eventuality.


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