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Bihar exit polls project a hung assembly

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Most exit polls on Bihar assembly elections gave surprise predictions today. Tejaswi Yadav came as the most preferred choice as the future chief minister as he got 36 percent rating as per People’s Pulse PSG survey. Nitish Kumar has got just 34 percent and lagged behind Tejaswi.

The C-Voter Exit Poll gave RJD-led Grand Alliance over 120 seats while the JD(U)’S National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will trail closely with 116 seats.

On November 10, the official results will be announced. Any coalition needs 122 seats to form the government in the state. A hung assembly is projected.

Whereas, People’s Pulse survey gave 85 to 95 seats to RJD and 15 to 20 to Congress, 3-5 to LJP. It gave 65-75 to BJP and 25-35 to JDU.

All the phases of polling ended today. The polling percentage was put at 54.32 percent.

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The hidden Bihar-wish of beleaguered TDP

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It is not for public, TDP circles are wishing in their heart of hearts Bihar to spring a surprise. The surprise is- a setback to Prime Minister Modi. They think a setback in Bihar would humble Prime Minister Modi and force him to think from others point of view.

Even since Modi won the 2014 election, all elections turned into Modi versus the other. BJP is no more. The Modi style of campaign also carried on with the chant “vote for Modi”. It clearly shows BJP days are gone. That is what pinching the TDP. In the days of BJP, under the leadership of Vajpayee and Advani, TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu was a pez zonovante. Modi’s too big a stature and his hubris is hurting TDP leaders and they are keeping silence only because any rupture with BJP would be a boon for YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who is waiting to join hands with Modi.

TDP is terribly upset over Modi’s style of participation in Amaravati function. He remained throughout the function reserved. This reticence caused some visible uneasiness in Naidu, which forced him to use the word “Sir” suppliants when he was requesting for liberal help for capital construction and the state. This is unusual of Naidu to get himself reduced to that level. The other point TDP leaders were upset was Modi’s repeated assertion that he would implement the provisions of AP Reorganization Act.2014, which they say it is responsibility of centre as the Act was made by the parliament of India. It doesn’t require a large heartedness of the Prime Minister, they argue.

The special status issue has made TDP unpopular. The charge that the TDP was not able to pressurize the centre because of TDP’s inability to fight with NDA for political reasons has stuck. The soil sample and Yamuna water the PM presented to Amaravati on October 22 has a become butt of a joke in Andhra politics. Everybody in TDP thinks, Prime Minister Modi has trivialized a humongous project of capital city construction with the matti and water.

“We are not able to come to terms. There is a feeling among the party leaders that Prime Minister Narendra Modi speech had humiliated a party which stood by it through thick and thin. But the PM dashed our hopes. We had hoped that he would at least announced some package if not on the lines of Bihar and save TDP the opposition onslaught,” a senior TDP leader confided in ‘telugu360.com’.

chief minister Naidu was so stupefied by the Modi’s reticence that he could not even utter the word Special Category State status. This situation where the state government compulsion to stand at the mercy of Prime Minister Modi has not impressed people in the state. Even though they are not buying the theory of ‘Special Status is not sanjeevani’ propounded Chandrababu Naidu, to diffuse the tension created by the demand, they admit that special status now has become an emotional issues. ” This is may turn against Modi and BJP and later against TDP, if no solution is found in time,” they caution the party leadership.

In this backdrop TDP leaders think a setback in Bihar would force Prime Minister Modi to treat all states equally and stop talking in terms of electoral benefits. They are thoroughly convinced that an NDA win in Bihar would make Andhra Pradesh being further disadvantaged and a setback would force the PM to realize Andhra Pradesh is also an important state, even though BJP is near absent.

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31 % Bihar candidates in Phase-2 have criminal record

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Bihar Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analyzed the self-sworn affidavits of all 456 candidates who are contesting in the second phase of Bihar assembly elections, 2015.The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) was established in 1999 by a group of professors from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad. In 1999, Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by them with Delhi High Court asking for the disclosure of the criminal, financial and educational background of the candidates contesting elections. Based on this, the Supreme Court in 2002, and subsequently in 2003, made it mandatory for all candidates contesting elections to disclose criminal, financial and educational background prior to the polls by filing an affidavit with the Election Commission. We give the salient points of the report released today.

Highlights of the Analysis

· Candidates with Criminal Cases: Out of all the 456 candidates, 142 (31%) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.

· Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases: 110 (24%) candidates have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, communal disharmony, kidnapping, crimes against women etc.

· Candidates with cases related to murder: 11 candidates have declared cases related to murder (Indian Penal Code Section-302). Ramendra Ram of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) fromChenari (SC) constituency has declared 2 charges related to murder while rest of the candidates face one charge each. 2 candidates of Garib Janata (Secular), 1 of Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation (CPI (ML)(L)), 1 candidate fielded by Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, 1 by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and 5 Independent candidates have declared cases related tomurder in their affidavits.

· Candidates with cases related to Attempt to Murder: 36 candidates have declared cases of attempt to murder (IPC Section-307). Munna Ram, a CPI (ML)(L) candidate from Mohaniaconstituency faces 4 charges related to attempt to murder. Ramendra Ram of the BSP fromChenari (SC) constituency and Prabhat Kumar Ranjan of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)from Ghosi constituency have declared 3 charges related to attempt to murder. While CPI (ML)(L)fielded 4 candidates facing charges related to attempt to murder, BSP fielded 3. 12 Independentcandidates have each declared charges related to attempt to murder.

· Candidates with cases related to Crimes against Women: 6 candidates have declared cases related to crimes against women. 1 candidate fielded by BSP, 1 by RJD, 1 by Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha and 1 Independent candidate have each declared offence related to assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty (IPC Section-354).

· Candidates with cases related to causing Communal Disharmony: 2 candidates have declared cases relating to causing communal disharmony. Pradeep Kumar Joshi of Rashtra Sewa Dal from Dheri constituency has declared 2 charges related to deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs (IPC Section-295A) and 1 case related to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (IPC Section-153A). Vikas Singh, an Independent candidate fromBhabua constituency has declared 1 charge related to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (IPC Section-153A) and 1 charge related to injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class (IPC Section-295).

· Candidates with cases related to Robbery and Dacoity: 4 candidates have declared cases related to robbery and dacoity. Naresh Kumar Bharti, an Independent candidate from Bodh Gaya (SC) constituency has declared 2 charges related to dacoity (IPC Section-395) and 1 charge each related to making preparation to commit dacoity (IPC Section-399) and assembling for purpose of committing dacoity (IPC Section – 402). Satyendra Sah of Samajwadi Party (SP) fromSasaram constituency has declared 1 charge each related to dacoity (IPC Section-395)and robbery, or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt (IPC Section-397).

· Candidates with cases related to Kidnapping: 5 candidates have declared cases related to Kidnapping. 3 candidates have declared offence related to kidnapping for ransom etc. (IPC Section-364A).

· Party wise Candidates with Criminal Cases: 11 (69%) out of 16 candidates fromBharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 4 (31%) out of 13 candidates from Communist Party of India (CPI),15 (47%) out of 32 candidates from BSP, 9 (69%) out of 13 candidates fielded by Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)), 6 (32%) out of 19 candidates from SP, 9 (69%) out of 13 candidates of RJD, 4 (67%) out of 6 candidates fielded by Indian National Congress (INC), 1 (7%) out of 14 candidates ofShiv Sena (SHS) along with 9 (47%) out of 19 candidates of the CPI(ML) (L) and 34 (23%) out of 146Independent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

· Party wise Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases: 6 (38%) out of 16 candidates from BJP, 2 (15%) out of 13 candidates from CPI, 11 (34%) out of 32 candidates from BSP, 5 (38%) out of 13 candidates fielded by JD(U), 5 (26%) out of 19 candidates from SP, 9 (69%) out of 13 candidates of RJD, 1 (17%) out of 6 candidates fielded by INC, 1 (7%) out of 14 candidates of SHS along with 9 (47%) out of 19 candidates of the CPI(ML) (L) and 31 (21%) out of 146 Independent candidates have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

Financial Background

· Crorepati Candidates: Out of the 456 candidates, 106 (23%) are crorepatis.

· Party wise Crorepati Candidates: 9 (56%) out of 16 fielded by BJP, 10 (77%) out of 13 candidates from JD(U), 8 (62%) out of 13 candidates from RJD, 8 (42%) out of 19 candidates fielded by SP, 3 (50%) out of 6 candidates of INC, 4 (31%) out of 13 candidates of CPI, 15(47%) out of 32 candidates of BSP and 22 (15%) out of 146 Independent candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Bihar police issue arrest warrant against Akbaruddin

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Bihar police are all set to arrest All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi for making an inflammatory speech while campaigning in Bihar. A case has been registered against the Chandrayana Gutta MLA from Hyderabad, for a speech he made at an election rally in Kishan Ganj at Kochadhaman Police Station in Kisanganj district. Kisanganj Superintendent of Police Rajiv Ranjan has issued the arrest warrant against him. Akbaruddin had addressed an election rally at Sontha Haat under Kochadhaman Assembly constituency on Sunday. The FIR was lodged for violation of provisions of section 144 of Crpc and under sections 153 A and 188 of IPC.

Section 153A deals with promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony, while section 188 deals with disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant. Akbaruddin is the younger brother of AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asauddin Owaisi. Commenting on the arrest warrant against his brother Asauddin told reporters in Hyderabad that the matter will be legally pursued. “The legal team of our party is trying to get the certified copy of FIR and it depends upon them. They will take necessary steps accordingly…,” he said.

Akbaruddin, a fourth-term MLA from Hyderabad, had allegedly used objectionable language against all MPs in Parliament. He also allegedly made provocative remarks against BJP leaders.

Ksishanganj police are also investigating the case from the angle that if the speech of Akbaruddin had any bearing on the damage of idols at two temples in the town which led to the tension on Sunday.

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22 % Bihar candidates in Phase-1 have criminal record

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Bihar Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analyzed the self-sworn affidavits of all 583 candidates who are contesting in the first phase of Bihar assembly elections, 2015.The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) was established in 1999 by a group of professors from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad. In 1999, Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by them with Delhi High Court asking for the disclosure of the criminal, financial and educational background of the candidates contesting elections. Based on this, the Supreme Court in 2002, and subsequently in 2003, made it mandatory for all candidates contesting elections to disclose criminal, financial and educational background prior to the polls by filing an affidavit with the Election Commission. We give the salient points of the report released today.

Highlights of the Analysis

Criminal Background

• Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases: 130 (22%) candidates have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, communal disharmony, kidnapping, crimes against women etc.Candidates with Criminal Cases: Out of all the 583 candidates, 174(30%) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
• Candidates with cases related to murder: 16 candidates have declared cases related to murder (Indian Penal Code Section-302). Pradeep Kumar of the Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) fromWarsaliganj constituency has declared 4 charges related to murder while rest of the candidates face one charge each. 7 Independent candidates have declared cases related to murder.

• Candidates with cases related to Attempt to Murder: 37 candidates have declared cases ofattempt to murder (IPC Section-307). Ramswarup Yadav, an Independent candidate from Hisuaconstituency faces 5 charges related to attempt to murder. 1 candidate fielded by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), 1 by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 3 by JD(U), 1 by Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik) (JAP(L)) along with 1 Independent candidate have each declared 2 charges related to attempt to murder.

• Candidates with cases related to Crimes against Women: 11 candidates have declared cases related to crimes against women. Nityanand Kumar, an Independent candidate from Suryagarhaconstituency and Rajiiv Nayak, an Independent candidate from Jamalpur constituency have each declared1 charge related to rape (IPC Section-376) against them. Suman Kumar Singh, an Independentcandidate from Kahalgaon constituency has declared an offence of dowry death (IPC Section-304B).
• Candidates with cases related to causing Communal Disharmony: 2 candidates have declared cases relating to causing communal disharmony. Shakuni Choudhary of Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) from Tarapur constituency has declared a case related to injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class (IPC Section-295). Rambalak Singh ofJD(U) from Bibhutipur constituency has declared a case related to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (IPC Section-153A).

•Candidates with cases related to Robbery and Dacoity: 5 candidates have declared cases related to robbery and dacoity. Ram Lakhan Singh of BJP from Teghra constituency has declared 1charge each related to making preparation to commit dacoity (IPC Section-399) and assembling for purpose of committing dacoity (IPC Section – 402). Baiju Kumar Rai, an Independent candidate,from Ujiarpur constituency has declared 1 charge each related to dacoity (IPC Section-395), making preparation to commit dacoity (IPC Section-399) and voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery (IPC Section – 394).

• Candidates with cases related to Kidnapping: 9 candidates have declared cases related toKidnapping. 5 candidates have declared offence related to kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person (IPC Section-365), and 4 candidates have declared offence related to kidnapping or abducting in order to murder (IPC Section-364). 5 candidates have declared more than 1 charge related to kidnapping against themselves.

• Party wise Candidates with Criminal Cases: 14 (52%) out of 27 candidates from BJP, 14 (56%) out of 25 candidates from Communist Party of India (CPI), 8 (20%) out of 41 candidates fromBSP, 11 (46%) out of 24 candidates fielded by JD(U), 9 (50%) out of 18 candidates from Samajwadi Party (SP), 8 (47%) out of 17 candidates of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), 6 (75%) out of 8 candidates fielded byIndian National Congress (INC), 8 (62%) out of 13 candidates of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) along with 8 (67%) out of 12 candidates of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) and 45 (23%)out of 192 Independent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

• Party wise Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases: 10 (37%) out of 27 candidates fromBJP, 7 (28%) out of 25 candidates from CPI, 6 (15%) out of 41 candidates from BSP, 9 (38%) out of 24candidates fielded by JD(U), 7 (39%) out of 18 candidates from SP, 6 (35%) out of 17 candidates of RJD, 4 (50%) out of 8 candidates fielded by INC, 6 (46%) out of 13 candidates of LJP along with 5 (42%) out of 12 candidates of the CPI(M) and 38 (20%) out of 192 Independent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

•Red Alert Constituencies*: 37 constituencies in the first phase of Bihar assembly elections have 3 or more candidates with declared criminal cases.

*Red Alert Constituencies are those which have 3 or more candidates with criminal cases contesting elections.

Financial Background

• Crorepati Candidates: Out of the 583 candidates, 146 (25%) are crorepatis.

• Party wise Crorepati Candidates: 18 (67%) out of 27 fielded by BJP, 19 (79%) out of 24 candidates from JD(U), 11 (65%) out of 17 candidates from RJD, 6 (33%) out of 18 candidates fielded by SP, 6 (75%) out of 8 candidates of INC, 8 (62%) out of 13 candidates of LJP, 3(7%) out of 41 candidates of BSP and 42 (22%) out of 192 Independent candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore.

• Average Assets: The average of assets per candidate contesting in the first phase of Bihar assembly elections is Rs.1.44 crores.

• Party wise Average Assets: Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 27 BJP candidates is Rs 2.15 crores, 41 BSP candidates have average assets of Rs 1.63 crores, 24 JD(U) candidates have average assets worth of Rs 4.63 crores, 8 INC candidates have average assets worth Rs 8 crores, 17 RJD candidates have average assets worth of Rs 4.08 crores, the average assets per candidate for 18 SP candidates is Rs 78.27 lakhs, 13 LJP candidates have average assets of Rs 2.7 crores and 192 Independent candidates have average assets of Rs. 1.23 crores.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Bihar Elections : Back to Basics

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Indian election is a two-headed monster. One likes it or not, one can simply say the elections are fought on caste and religion lines. Even though India is witnessing the entry of Vikas Purush it is only meant for animated social media discussions of those who left their constituencies before they attained the age of consent and for those, who never cast their vote and confined to discussion rooms. The ongoing Bihar election is being fought on the plank of caste and religion, even though two Vikash Purush– Prime Minister Modi and chief minister Nitish Kumar- are leading the campaign.

It is clear now that there are three fronts in the fray: NDA led by Prime Minister Modi, Grand Alliance of JDU, RJD, Congress led Chief minister Nitish Kumar, and Third Front of Mulayam’s SP, Sarad Pawars NCP and Samajwadi Janata Dal (D). MIM of Asaduddin Owaisi (Hyderabad) has also entered the fray in Seemanchal region without joining any of the fronts.

The contours of Bihar elections is determined by its demographic content. It is the demography of Bihar that has created these fronts. Bihar has something to offer for every party in India which is the reason for fierce competition. Upper castes (Rajputs, Brahmins, Bhumihars and Kayasthas) account for just 12 per cent in the state which is far less than the numerical strength of Yadavs, who form 14.6 per cent. Kushwahas and Kurmis constitute about 8 per cent. Vaishyas, who are part of the OBC , constitute 7 per cent. The conglomeration of extremely backward castes constitute another 25 per cent, thus making OBC a major force in the state with more than 50 per cent share in the population. Coming to Muslims, they constitute about 15.5 per cent- this is the attraction that lured Asaduddin Owasi to look towards Seemanchal.

Similarly, Mulayam’s allurement is the Yadav force. It is clear that BC’s hold the key in Bihar. BJP needs BC votes to supplement its upper caste support base which is not enough to steer the party to power. Even though there are some OBCs among its ranks, BJP doesn’t want to promote anybody as the chief minister of the state. Because the party wants to cash in on two counts : one, Modi’s personal charisma as ‘Vikas Purush’ and two, Modi as the first OBC Prime Minister of India. Vikash Purush in Modi is banking on the special package of whopping Rs 2.60 lakh crore, he announced recently and OBC in Modi is trying to wean away extremely backwards castes (EBC) from Lalu-Nitish combination. The advanced OBC such as Yadavs, Kurmis etc are a hard nut to crack. BJP’s line of thinking is that the EBCs are unhappy lot as the Yadavs monopolized the power during Lalu’s era, while Kumis and Kushwahas enjoyed enormous clout during Nitish regime. BJP wants to widen this gulf, real or perceived, between advanced OBCs and EBCs by promoting Modi’s OBC identity, which is also a non-Yadav and non-Kurmi idenity.

In BJP’s calculations, weaning away some EBCs, who come from lowest rungs, from neo-feudal OBC of Lalu-Nitish, would catapult the NDA into winning position. Once won, it can appoint anybody as the CM. It’s clear that BJP doesn’t want to commit on projecting a BC leader as chief minister.
This is the essence of Bihar Election-2015. The meaning of NDA reeks of caste politics under the coating of artificial flavor of Vikas. If one deciphers the partnership of Modi+Upendra Kushwaha+Ramvilas Paswan + Jatin Ram Manji into electoral language it tells about the BJP expectations of its votes from impoverished OBCs, Kushwahas, Dusadhs and Musahar. Though anxious to charter OBC course, BJP doesn’t want to annoy the traditional support base of upper castes. It avoided projecting anybody from OBC as the CM. So, BJP has created an impression that a OBC Prime Minister Modi is fighting the Bihar Elections with feudal OBC of Yadavs, Kushwahas and Kurmis.
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The ‘Silent Revolution’ has certainly been dealt a death blow by Narendra Modi. The plank of social justice, which shaped the electoral outcomes in UP and Bihar for nearly two decades, seems to have become obsolete now. The Modi assault Bihar received in 2014, bears testimony to this. Chief minister Nitish Kumar, taking moral responsibility, stepped down as CM and Mahadalit leader Jitan Ram Manjhi his successor. Nitish and Lalu now have realized that they could fight between themselves but resurgent BJP should not be allowed to exploit their fight. Both Lalu and Nitish finally agreed to bury the hatchet to stop OBC Modi set foot on Bihari soil. And Congress is more than willing to join them. Their simple math is that while BJP and allies got 38 per cent votes in 2014, the combined strength of RJD(20.46 per cent), JDU(16.40 per cent) and Congress (8.50 per cent) has far exceeded that of NDA with 45 per cent. That Lalu-Nitish is a winning combination was vindicated already in by-polls in August 2014, winning 6 out of 10 seats. They wrested these seats from BJP. Now two former socialists want to extend their cooperation to the 2015-Assembly polls as well in the form of Grand JDU-RJD-Congress Alliance.

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Bihar has a long tradition of lower caste politics. Bihar has been ruled by the protégés of Jayaprakash Narayan. Lalu, Nitish, Sushil Modi (all OBC) and Ramvilas Paswan(Dalit) are all the products JP movement. In course of time, socialism led to the mobilization of lower castes (which Christophe Jaffrelot called Silent Revolution) which brought Lalu to power on the banner of OBC -Muslim unity. Lalu achieved this rare feat by uniting OBC and Muslim with a popular slogan ” Bhurabal Hatao” and by halting Advani Rath from entering Bihar. Bhurabal Hatao is targeted against the hegemony of four uppercastes namely Bhumihars, Rajputs, Brahmins and Kayastas. The slogan was seen as the point of departure from politics of Garibi Hatao towards what Jaffrelot called ‘Silent Revolution’.
With Nitish becoming Vikas Purush, the silent revolution took a beating. As he stopped banking on Mandal rhetoric, upper castes also began accepting him which led to his second winning 201 people are going to witness an interesting phenomenon in Bihar elections- a new avatar of caste clash. Hindu BJP has made Modi first OBC prime Minister vs OBC Nitish Kumar, who also seems to have jettisoned his Vikas to retreat back to basics.

Ultimately OBC factor is going to play key role in elections. To win the Bihar election, Modi has to succeed in weaning away EBCs to supplement upper castes with huge package of Rs 2.60 lakh crore, and Nitish-Lalu have to win over all OBC plus Muslim against looming threat of Modi.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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