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Addressing a joint press conference on Tuesday, BJP and JD(U) announced the seat-sharing formula for the upcoming Bihar Assembly election. In a significant climbdown for the JD(U), it will contest only 115 seats on this occasion, ceding 7 seats for Jitan Ram Manjhi-led HAM. On the other hand, BJP shall field candidates in 121 constituencies. While Bihar CM Nitish Kumar announced that the Vikassheel Insaan Party will be accommodated in the BJP's quota of seats, there was no clarity on the number of seats it will contest.

Senior leaders including Bihar BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal, Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Rajya Sabha Member Bhupender Yadav were present during the briefing. Jaiswal lauded the work done by the NDA government including the steps taken to control the spread of COVID-19. Moreover, he made it clear that Nitish Kumar is the undisputed leader of the alliance in Bihar. He also exuded confidence in NDA winning a three-fourth majority in the polls. Earlier, NDA ally LJP decided to fight the Bihar polls separately owing to ideological differences with JD(U).

Bihar Assembly polls

The Bihar Assembly has a strength of 243 members out of which 38 seats are reserved for SC and two for ST. In the 2015 state polls, the Mahagatbandhan comprising RJD, JD(U) and Congress won a whopping majority with 178 seats under the leadership of Nitish Kumar. On the other hand, the BJP-led alliance won from only 58 constituencies. On July 26, 2017, Nitish Kumar stepped down as the CM citing irreconcilable differences with RJD over corruption allegations against Tejashwi Yadav and joined hands with its former ally BJP.

The upcoming Assembly election will be held in 3 phases- October 28, November 3 and November 7. To decongest polling stations, the voting time has been increased by one hour. Thus, people will be able to cast their votes from 7 am to 6 pm barring for the areas affected by Left-wing extremism. The counting of votes will take place on November 10.


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