Bihar: First Post-Covid Elections

Bihar: First Post-Covid Elections

With the Bihar state elections coming up in October-November 2020, the state is poised for an electoral battle with several friends-turned-foes being pitted against each other.

Crux of the Matter

Upcoming Elections
The Bihar state elections would be held in October-November 2020, with Nitish Kumar, the current Chief Minister of Bihar, being the CM candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The NDA is the alliance of Janata Dal (United), BJP, Hindustani Awam Morcha and Lok Janshakti Party, with Nitish Kumar belonging to the Janata Dal (United). Devendra Fadnavis, former Maharashtra Chief Minister, has been appointed as the “election in-charge” of the BJP in the state.

The other major alliance of the state is the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), which is a coalition of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Indian National Congress, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party and Vikassheel Insaan Party. The alliance would be led by Tejashwi Yadav, who is the son of Lalu Prasad Yadav (RJD party chief and former Bihar CM). Tejashwi Yadav has reportedly engaged in talks with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and BSP to form a ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance).

Other Groups In Elections

  • The Left Front of the Communist parties led by former JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar.
  • All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) which has Asaduddin Owaisi as the Party President.

Election Commission Rules And Online Rallies
The Election Commission of India (ECI) recently declared a ‘revised schedule’ for the advertising of criminal cases and background of a candidate:

  • First broadcast: Within 4 days of the last date of nomination withdrawal.
  • Second broadcast: Within 5 to 8 days after the deadline of nomination withdrawal ends.
  • Third broadcast: From day 9 till the campaign ends (2 days before the polling).

Virtual election rallies are being held in Bihar due to restrictions on physical ones owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

PM Schemes Amidst Elections
PM Modi recently had an online interaction with beneficiaries of different schemes like the PM Ujjwala scheme, PM Kisan scheme, etc. He also recently inaugurated several schemes and projects affecting the state:

  • 3 petroleum projects in Bihar costing ₹900 crores.
  • 7 urban infrastructure projects in Bihar worth ₹541 crores.
  • Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) for the fisheries sector with an investment of ₹20,050 crores.
  • Mere Bharat Ke Kanth Haar is the state song of the Indian state of Bihar. The lyrics were written by Satya Narayan and the music was composed by Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Shivkumar Sharma. 
  • A Bodhi Tree with Prayer beads, flanked by two swastikas is the emblem of Bihar. The whole emblem signifies spiritualism, knowledge and auspiciousness in Indian religions.
  • The name Bihar is derived from the Sanskrit word vihāra, meaning “abode”. The region roughly encompassing the present state had many Buddhist vihāras, the abodes of Buddhist monks in the ancient and medieval periods.