ECI likely to announce Bihar Assembly poll schedule today
The Election Commission of India (ECI) will hold a press conference, in which the schedule for Bihar Assembly polls is likely to be announced, in New Delhi today.
The Assembly elections for 243 seats in Bihar are due in October-November and the tenure of the current Assembly is scheduled to end on November 29.
A team consisting of ECI members had visited the State earlier this month to review poll preparedness and take stock of the situation.
While Opposition parties like Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had earlier been urging for the polls to be postponed owing to the pandemic, they later held talks over the sharing of seats in the RJD and Congress-led Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance).
The incumbent BJP and Janata Dal-United (JDU) coalition government have also begun preparations for the polls. The central leadership of the BJP had clarified that the NDA will go to Bihar polls under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
The war of words between NDA and Mahagathbandhan has peaked in the past few days with the speculations regarding poll dates likely to be announced on the rise.
In the previous Assembly elections held in the state in 2015, JDU, RJD and Congress had fought the elections together under the Mahagathbandhan banner.
On the other hand, BJP led NDA had fought the elections with Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and other allies.
RJD with 80 seats had emerged as the single largest party in the 2015 Assembly elections, followed by JDU (71), and BJP (53). However, BJP got the largest vote share (24.42 per cent), followed by RJD with 18.35 per cent and JDU (16.83 per cent).
After the polls, however, a rift emerged between JDU and the RJD in 2017, leading to CM Nitish Kumar snapping ties and rejoining ties with the BJP-led NDA to retain power in Bihar.