Ahead of 1st phase polling, Modi to address 4 rallies in Bihar today

  • Kumar Uttam, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 08, 2015 09:52 IST
Narendra Modi addressing a BJP rally in Bhagalpur for the Bihar elections. (Ravindra/ HT File Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address four rallies in poll-bound Bihar on Thursday, with the BJP banking on its ‘star campaigner’ for a push ahead of the first phase of the elections on October 12.

Modi will address back-to-back rallies in Munger, Samastipur, Begusarai and Nawada.

The BJP plans to virtually carpet-bomb rivals in Bihar with Modi slated to address a slew of rallies as he leads the party’s offensive in the high-stakes election that analysts see going down to the wire.

Modi has already held half a dozen public meetings in the eastern state and is scheduled to address at least 22 more for the crucial polls, surpassing his record of 27 rallies ahead of last year’s Maharashtra election.

Caste-riddled Bihar is likely to present a tough challenge for the BJP-led coalition, political observers say, as it prepares to take on the grand alliance of chief minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), Lalu Prasad’s RJD and the Congress.

“He (Modi) will spend two days to campaign in each of the five phases (of the election), adding, on an average, two-three rallies a day,” a BJP leader involved in the campaign management told HT.

A win will boost Modi’s bid to push crucial reforms legislation through Parliament as state elections allot seats to the Rajya Sabha where the ruling combine is in a minority.

Modi will hold two rallies in Sasaram and Aurangabad on Friday where polling will be held on October 16.

Modi will stay overnight in Patna on Thursday for a review meeting with the core group of Bihar BJP leaders. It is rare on part of the Prime Minister to spend the night in a poll-bound state and reflects the importance that he attaches to the Bihar election, party leaders say.

Bihar will elect a new 243-member Assembly in staggered polls, to be held between October 12 and November 5. The counting of votes will be held on November 8.

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