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Electioneering ends for 2nd phase of Bihar polls


Patna: The hustle and bustle of campaigning for the second phase of poll in 32 assembly seats in Bihar ended this evening with the sting video of a senior minister in the Nitish Kumar government providing the BJP-led NDA with fresh ammunition to attack the grand secular alliance on corruption.

The 32 seats are spread across six naxal-hit districts– Jehanabad, Arwal, Gaya, Rohtas, Kaimur and Aurangabad.

The Election Commission has cut short the time for voting by one to two hours in as many as 23 constituencies that would go to poll on October 16, depending upon its perception of the threat from outlawed naxalite groups.

Only 9 out of a total of 32 seats would see voting from 7 AM to 5 PM. 12 Constituencies would witness voting till 4 PM, while 11 others would have balloting only till 3 PM, Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshamanan said.

The sting video of JD(U) minister Awadhesh Prasad Kushwaha gave additional ammunition to the NDA for launching a spirited assault on the JD(U)-RJD-Congress combine during the electioneering for the second phase of the 5-phase polls.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi prominently raised the issue at his rallies in Jehanabad and Bhubua on October 12, a day after the damning video surfaced on the 113th birth anniversary of socialist icon Jayaprakash Narayan.

He attacked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, products of JP’s ‘Total Revolution’ movement, for “insulting” their leader, who fought against corrruption, on his birth anniversary.

BJP chief Amit Shah and Home Minister Rajnath Singh extensively toured the constituencies. LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan, RSLP leader Upendra Kushwaha and Hindustani Awam Morcha’s Jitan Ram Manjhi, other three allies of BJP, too held a number of election meetings.

The Grand Alliance’s campaign was led by Nitish Kumar and Lalu. Neither Congress president Sonia Gandhi nor her deputy Rahul Gandhi made any appearance for this phase of poll.

On the last day of electioneering, Nitish and Lalu attacked Narendra Modi for his “delayed” reaction to the Dadri lynching incident. Modi, in an interview to Bengali daily Ananda Bazar Patrika, had termed as “unfortunate” the Dadri episode following rumours of beef consumption.

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