Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday ended his campaign for the third and final round of polls in the State by declaring that this would be his last election as a candidate.
“This is the last day of campaigning. It is also my last election. Polling will take place the day after. All is well that ends well,” said the 69-year-old leader who fought his first election after the Emergency was lifted. Kumar is a product of Jayaprakash Narain’s anti-Emergency struggle that produced several stalwarts in Indian political arena.
PM praises Nitish
Kumar’s dramatic announcement was followed by high praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who circulated a four-page open letter to the people of Bihar to re-elect Nitish as Chief Minister.
“I need Nitish Kumar’s government in Bihar to ensure that the State’s development is not derailed and that it does not fall short of our promise,” said PM in the letter released on social media platforms.
The PM said votes are being cast in the name of development and only Nitish Kumar’s government will be able to prove up to the task.
“Votes are being cast not in favour of caste or creed but on development. Not on lack of governance but good governance, not on false promises but good intent, not on corruption but honesty,” said the PM.
Kumar, along with the BJP President JP Nadda and General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav led the last day’s campaign in the State. JP Nadda addressed two rallies on the last day in Jailey and Hayaghat in Darbhanga and underlined Nitish Kumar’s track record of development and restoring law and order in the State while seeking support in favour of the NDA candidates. “Opposition has no agenda of development, they are only misguiding people of the State,” charged
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who has pushed a large number of party cadre and work force from the neighbouring State into poll-bound Bihar for strengthening the NDA’s organisational structure on the field, also addressed several rallies on the final day.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)’s star campaigner Tejaswi Yadav was expected to end the day with as many 15 rallies; Yadav has been campaigning hard during the polls, sometimes addressing as many as 17 rallies in one single day. Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Chirag Paswan was expected to address about nine rallies during the last day.
The third and last phase of polling will take place on November 7. In this phase, 78 constituencies spread over 15 districts including Kishanganj, Katihar, Madhepura and Supaul. Polling for by election to Valmiki Nagar Parliamentary seat, will also be held simultaneously.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has released final voter turnout of the Second Phase of Assembly elections. An estimated 55.70 per cent voting was recorded in this phase. Female voters turnout was 58.80 per cent while male turnout was 52.92 per cent.