Bihar elections 2020.

Bihar elections 2020.

Bihar polls: Political aspirations overshadow family ties

Over 50% population satisfied with JD-U-BJP, reveals research

Agency Report | Patna/New Delhi | 22 October, 2020 | 09:50 PM

Political aspirations generally force leaders to switch parties to capture power, but in the Bihar Assembly poll, aspirations are hurting family relations. This is also causing confusion among voters.

In this election, while a mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law are contesting against each other, an uncle and his nephew are also face-to-face. The voters are also confused about whom to vote for because in many instances they share good relations with both sides. The electoral bout between family members has made the election interesting.

In the Ramnagar Assembly constituency, a mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law have both filed nominations, making them compete against each other. BJP MLA Bhagirathi Devi is facing a tough fight against her daughter-in-law Rani Kumari. Her daughter-in-law may be new in politics compared to Bhagirathi Devi, who has represented Ramnagar twice, but she is seeking votes on an emotional level.

Rani said that she will go door-to-door and expose the promise of development. “Public is the kingmaker, it will make the decision,” Devi said in response to Rani’s statement.

In Jokihat seat of Seemanchal, two sons of former MLA late Taslimuddin are contesting against each other. Taslimuddin had represented the constituency five times. Thereafter, his son Sarfaraz Alam won the seat four times. But when he won the by-election from the Araria Lok Sabha constituency as a Rashtriya Janata Dal candidate in 2018, he resigned as the Jokihat MLA.

After that, his younger brother Shahnawaz Alam became an MLA from Jokihat on an RJD ticket during the by-polls. Subsequently, Sarfaraz Alam lost the 2019 Lok Sabha election and now has returned to his traditional Jokihat seat and got a ticket from the RJD. In this situation, Shahnawaz has entered the electoral arena on behalf of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).

In another interesting contest, two sisters-in-law — ‘Jethani’ and ‘Devrani’ — are in the political fray in Shahpur Assembly constituency of Bhojpur. Former MLA Munni Devi has been re-nominated by the BJP, while the wife of her husband’s elder brother, Shobha Devi, has entered the election arena as an Independent candidate. Shobha Devi’s husband Visheshwar Ojha was a BJP candidate in the last election.

Anand Rai, son of former MLA Rampravesh Rai from Madhaura Assembly seat in Saran district, is contesting as an Independent candidate. At the same time, his uncle Jairam Rai has also entered the poll fray.

Voting in the three-phased Bihar election for the 243-member Assembly will be held on October 28, November 3 and November 7, while the counting of votes will take place on November 10.
According to a recent study reflecting the opinion and perception of people in Bihar, more than 50 per cent of the population are satisfied with the current administration.

Fifty-seven per cent of the respondents interviewed said they were satisfied with the ruling party, a substantial number of 34 per cent did not have an opinion, while 10 per cent were vocal and expressed dissatisfaction.

The research conducted by Market Xcel, a market research agency in India, included people interviewed across 28 districts of the state.

By selecting three-four blocks in each district and interviewing four-five people in each block, the aim of the research was to get a comprehensive representation of the state as a whole. The state consists of 534 administrative blocks spread across 38 districts.

Nearly 45 per cent of the respondents interviewed said caste politics is still significant in the poll battle and can very well be the deciding factor.

Interestingly, infrastructure and development lag behind, when it comes to factors that shall decide the vote.

Healthcare and education are seen as major local issues in the state. More than 55 per cent of the respondents interviewed were fighting with health and education-related issues.

While most of the respondents said they were satisfied with road infrastructure, 44 per cent of the respondents still think that modernization and development parameters are lagging behind. The overall development matrix of the state is yet to gain the momentum needed.

Development with respect to road infrastructure and water facilities has been quite significant, however, the condition with respect to cleanliness/sanitation, health, education and environment still remain the same as that of 5 years ago. Many of the respondents said that the condition of education even declined over the last 5 years.

Twenty-eight per cent of the respondents expressed dissatisfaction with their local MLA; nearly 5 out of 10 respondents were satisfied with their local MLA while 25 per cent remained neutral.

The fieldwork for the research was conducted during the 2nd and early 3rd week of October 2020, with 80 per cent of the people interviewed were males while 20 per cent of the respondents were females, with an average age of 38 years.

The election will be held in three phases for a total of 243 seats. The first phase for 71 seats on October 28, the second for 94 seats on November 3 and the third phase for the remaining 78 will be on November 7.

The results will be announced on November 10. (IANS)