Lok Sabha Elections 2019: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has finally sounded the poll bugle and declared the schedule for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on March 10. The Lok Sabha Elections 2019 will be held in seven phases, starting from April 11. The results will be declared on May 23. 91 constituencies will go for polls in the first phase on April 11, followed by 97 constituencies in the second phase on April 18. The third phase will be held on April 23 and fourth on April 29, fifth on May 6, sixth on May 12 and seventh phase on May 19. 115 constituencies will go for polls in the third phase, 71 in the fourth phase, 51 in the fifth phase, 59 in the sixth phase and 59 in the seventh phase. We are also gearing up for the elections and are coming up with a series: 2019 Lok Sabha Election Analysis: What happened in 2014 Lok Sabha Polls? What will happen this year? Now, let's look at the political scenario in Bihar, one of the most politically crucial states in the country. Bihar with 40 constituencies is the fourth largest state in terms of the Lok Sabha seats after Uttar Pradesh (80), Maharashtra (48) and West Bengal (42). Also Read: Lok Sabha Elections 2019: When will you vote? Know poll dates of your seat here
Nitish Kumar has been ruling the state since 2005 (barring the period when Jitan Ram Manjhi was the chief minister). The JDU-BJP combine swept the Assembly polls in 2005 and 2010 but Nitish Kumar chose to contest the 2015 Assembly polls along with his arch rivals Lalu Prasad's RJD and Congress. The 'Grand Alliance' decimated the BJP-led NDA in the state and Nitish Kumar became the chief minister yet again. In 2013, Nitish broke away with the BJP after almost 17 years in an alliance over the candidature of Narendra Modi for the Prime Minister's position. However, 'Sushashan Babu' again took a U-turn in 2017 and returned to the NDA fold. The Janata Dal-United (JDU) will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections along with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) whereas the Lalu Prasad's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) will take on the NDA with its own alliance comprising of the Congress, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), the Hindustani Awami Morcha (HAM) and other parties. Both Kushwaha and Manjhi were the partners of the BJP-led alliance but left it recently. Let's discuss this in detail.
Lok Sabha Elections 2019: When will Bihar vote?
The polling in the state will be held in all seven phases starting from April 11 to May 19. Polling will be held on April 11 in Jamui, Gaya, Aurangabad and Nawada. On April 18, polling will take place in Katihar, Purnia, Bhagalpur, Kishanganj and Banka. Five seats namely Khagaria, Madhepura, Jhanjharpur, Supaul and Araria will vote on April 23, whereas Ujiarpur, Samastipur, Begusarai, Darbhanga and Munger will face the test on April 29. Madhubani, Sitamarhi, Saran, Hajipur and Muzaffarpur to vote on May 6 and Vaishali, Siwan, Maharajganj, Gopalganj, Sheohar, Valmiki Nagar, Paschim Champaran and Purvi Champaran on May 12. The remaining eight seats Nalanda, Karakat, Buxar, Sasaram, Arrah, Patna Sahib, Pataliputra and Jahanabad will vote in the last phase on May 19.
What happened in Bihar in 2014 Lok Sabha Elections?
In 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, the BJP with its allies the Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP and the Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP won 31 seats in Bihar. The RJD-Congress-NCP alliance was reduced to 7 seats (4+2+1) whereas the Nitish Kumar-led JDU was decimated with just 2 seats in the elections. The 2014 election in Bihar was held in six phases on April 10, 17, 24, 30 and May 7 and 12. The BJP received 1,05,43,025 votes with a vote share of 29.8 per cent and its allies the LJP and the RLSP garnered 22,95,929 (6.5%) and 10,72,804 (3%) votes respectively. The RJD received 72,24,893 votes with a vote share of 20.4 per cent and its allies the Congress and the NCP garnered 30,21,065 (8.5%) and 4,31,292 (1.2%) votes respectively.
The JDU, which contested the elections on its own, got 56,62,444 votes with a vote share of over 16 per cent. According to our analysis, the BJP was ahead in 121 Assembly segments on its own during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and its allies the LJP and the RLSP were ahead in 34 and 17 seats respectively. The RJD, the Congress and the NCP were ahead in 32, 14 and 5 seats respectively. The JDU was at the number one position in just 18 seats. In 2009, the BJP was successful on 12 and the JDU won 20 seats in an alliance. The RJD and the Congress won 4 and 2 seats respectively.
Some of the prominent winners in 2014 were Shatrughan Sinha (BJP-Patna Sahib), Rajiv Pratap Rudy (BJP-Saran), Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP-Hajipur), Upendra Kushwaha (RLSP-Karakat), Hukumdev Narayan Yadav (BJP-Madhubani), Radha Mohan Singh (BJP-Purvi Champaran), Ram Kripal Yadav (BJP-Pataliputra), Chhedi Paswan (BJP-Sasaram), Giriraj Singh (BJP-Nawada), Chirag Paswan (LJP-Jamui), RK Singh (BJP-Arrah), Ashwani Kumar Choubey (BJP-Buxar), Nityanand Rai (BJP-Ujiarpur), Kirti Azad (BJP-Darbhanga), Kaushalendra Kumar (JDU-Nalanda), Pappu Yadav (RJD-Madhepura), Tariq Anwar (NCP-Katihar), Ranjeet Ranjan (Congress-Supaul), Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav (RJD-Banka) and Mohammed Taslimuddin (RJD-Araria).
Syed Shahnawaz Hussain (BJP), Uday Singh (BJP), Nikhil Kumar Choudhary (BJP), Purnmasi Ram (Congress), Prakash Jha (JDU), Raghunath Jha (RJD), Lovely Anand (SP), Mohammad Anwarul Haque (RJD), Abdul Bari Siddiqui (RJD), Mangani Lal Mandal (RJD), Meira Kumar (Congress), Misa Bharti (RJD), Rabri Devi (RJD), Dilip Kumar Jaiswal (BJP), Sharad Yadav (JDU), Mohammad Ali Ashraf Fatmi (RJD), Akhilesh Prasad Singh (Congress), Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (RJD), Hena Shahab (RJD), Prabhunath Singh (RJD), Ram Sundar Das (JDU), Rajiv Ranjan Singh (JDU), Ranjan Prasad Yadav (JDU), Jagada Nand Singh (RJD), Kanti Singh (RJD), Nikhil Kumar (Congress) and Jitan Ram Manjhi (JDU) lost the elections.
What was the result of Bihar Assembly Elections in 2015?
Nitish Kumar ditched the BJP and formed a 'Grand Alliance' with the RJD and the Congress in the Bihar Assembly Elections 2015. The JDU, which had 115 MLAs, contested on 101 seats only and left the equal number of seats for the RJD and 41 for the Congress in the 243-member strong Assembly. The BJP, on the other hand, forged an alliance with the LJP, RLSP and the HAM. The HAM was founded by JDU rebel and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi. The BJP contested on 157 seats and left 42, 23 and 21 seats for the LJP, the RLSP and the HAM respectively. The results were a shocker for the BJP-led alliance. The JDU-RJD-Congress alliance routed the NDA in Bihar and won 178 Assembly seats. The RJD became the single largest party with 80 seats and received 69,95,509 votes with a vote share of 18.4 per cent. The JDU won 71 seats and received 64,17,041 votes with a vote share of 16.8 per cent and the Congress won 27 seats with a vote share of 6.7 per cent.
The BJP became the single largest party in the state in terms of the vote share and won 53 seats. The party received 93,08,015 votes with a vote share of 24.4 per cent. Its alliance partners the LJP (4.8 per cent), the RLSP (2.6 per cent) and the HAM (2.3 per cent) won 2, 2 and 1 seats respectively. RJD's Tejashwi Yadav took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister under Nitish Kumar after the elections.
In 2010 Assembly polls, the JDU-BJP alliance won 206 seats together (115 and 91 seats respectively) and the RJD-LJP combine was reduced to just 25 seats (22+3). The Congress party fought alone in the elections and won only 4 seats.
What is the current scenario in Bihar in 2019?
The BJP has already firmed up its alliance with the JDU and the LJP in the state. According to the seat-sharing arrangement, the BJP and the JDU will contest on 17 seats each in Bihar, while the remaining 6 seats will go to Paswan's LJP. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the LJP had won Hajipur, Jamui, Munger, Samastipur, Vaishali and Khagaria seats. The BJP had 22 MPs but in order to keep the JDU in good humour, the party decided to contest from only 17 seats. The party is also facing dissent in the state as Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad has already joined the Congress party. Shatrughan Sinha, another party veteran and MP from Patna Sahib, has been challenging and criticising the top leadership on a regular basis. He is likely to be dropped from the party and also from the list of ticket aspirants. The RJD-led alliance, on the other hand, is in trouble over the seat-sharing tussle within several parties of the grouping. The Grand Alliance already has the Congress, the Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha, the Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), the Mukesh Sahni-led Vikassheel Insaan Party and the Sharad Yadav's Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD). The Left parties are also tipped to be included in the Grand Alliance. But all these parties are demanding a respectable share of seats for themselves and making Tejashwi Yadav's task a bit difficult in the absence of ailing Lalu Prasad. According to reports, the RLSP wants at least 5 seats in Bihar and a seat in Jharkhand to contest. Sources claim Kushwaha, Manjhi and Sharad Yadav want to contest from Karakat, Gaya and Madhepura seats respectively.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, HAM leader Jitan Ram Manjhi and RLSP chief Upendra Singh Kushwaha. (File photo: PTI)
The Congress, which had contested on 12 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha seats, wants to contest the same number of seats this time also. The RJD has to leave at least a seat for the newly-inducted member VIP. The three Left parties – CPM, CPI and CPI(ML) – are also keen to join the Grand Alliance in Bihar. Meanwhile, Manjhi is blaming the Congress party for the chaos in the 'Mahagathbandhan'. Sources also indicate that he can return to the NDA again and may rock the Grand Alliance in the state. Earlier, the RJD defeated the JDU-BJP-LJP combine in the Araria Lok Sabha bypoll and by-elections to Jokihat and Jehanabad Assembly seats last year.
What is News Nation Opinion Poll verdict in Bihar?
According to News Nation Opinion Poll, the BJP-JDU-LJP alliance is likely to get 45 per cent of vote share in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The RJD-Congress-RLSP-HAM alliance may get 37 per cent of votes, while the other parties are likely to secure 6 per cent of vote share. The NDA may win 27 seats, the UPA can win 12 seats in 2019. So, the NDA is projected to lose 4 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Bihar.
According to a poll, the BJP-led NDA may not repeat its 2014 performance in Bihar but will remain the leading alliance whereas the UPA is not likely to take the advantage of anti-incumbency in capturing the most seats in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a massive lead over Rahul Gandhi in Bihar when the respondents were asked about their favourite Prime Ministerial candidate in 2019. Modi got the backing of 48 per cent people, while only 20 per cent chose Rahul Gandhi.