Bihar is the first state in the country where assembly elections were held during in three phases during the Corona epidemic. Half a dozen leaders were declared contenders for the chief minister’s chair at the start of this election. 

Let us watch the credential of these contenders who are filing a claim for the Chief Minister.

Nitish Kumar:

Nitish Kumar is again the face of the Chief Minister from the NDA alliance and has been holding the state’s throne for the last fifteen years. Nitish Kumar is trying to become the Chief Minister by winning the election for the fourth consecutive time, and he is counting his achievements from the electoral stage. Despite his long tenure, he is saying in his meetings that if he gets the chance again, he will complete the remaining work and make Bihar a developed state. Nitish reminds the voters of the days of Jungle Raj that they are peaceful and relaxed in Bihar because of their government.

The Bhartiya Janata Party has said even if his party wins more seats than its alliance partner, the Janata Dal-United, Nitish Kumar will be the chief minister if the NDA were to return to power.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and other NDA allies have already made it clear that Nitish Kumar will continue to be the NDA leader under any circumstances.

Tejashwi Yadav:

The RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav is the candidate for the Chief Minister from the Grand Alliance of the Opposition, playing in this election so far like a determined political player. He is continuously attacking Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for unemployment and plight. He has promised to give 10 lakh youth jobs in the first cabinet meeting as soon as the government is formed. Tejashwi is addressing more than a dozen meetings in a day, and if he manages to become the Chief Minister, he will be the youngest CM.

Chirag Paswan:

There is also a sharp buzz about Chirag Paswan, the president of LJP, who is contesting independently. Chirag, who entered the election battle with the slogan “Bihar First, Bihari First,” is speaking out fiercely against Nitish Kumar. Chirag, the aggressor against Nitish, is soft against the BJP, and he has been vocal about his relationship with PM Narendra Modi. In such a situation, it is believed that Chirag has also dreamed of the post of Chief Minister, although he refuses to consider himself as the CM candidate.

Pushpam Priya Chaudhary:

Pushpam Priya Chaudhary, who came from London, formed her party and fought for election. From the start of her entry in politics, she has been talking about developing Bihar on Europe’s lines. She came in the headlines by giving advertisements on the front page in the newspapers of Bihar. Pushpam Priya, who describes herself as a contender for the post of Chief Minister, has openly challenged Nitish and Tejashwi. Pushpam Priya has been a big hit on social media and has become the entry-taking leader of the Bihar election’s biggest sensation.

Upendra Kushwaha:

Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) has allied with Mayawati’s party BSP and Asaduddin Owaisi’s party AIMIM. Upendra Kushwaha is the face of the Chief Minister of this alliance. Kushwaha has entered the electoral battle by giving the slogan “Government with education now and again”. Kushwaha and leaders of his alliance have been continuously attacking Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav. They are repeatedly saying that for 15 years of RJD and 15 years of JD(U), Bihar has been ruined by them. They assure that if they are given a chance, they will form the government with education.

Now that polling has been completed, various pole surveys depict a thin hair margin in the outcome of seats between the two leading contenders viz. Mahagathbandhan and NDA, the million-dollar question is who will become the next chief minister of Bihar.

The different exit poll results are as follows: 

The India Today-Axis My India poll gives the opposition Mahagathbandhan 139 to 161 seats and the Nitish Kumar-BJP alliance 69 to 91 seats. The Lok Janshakti Party will win three to five, it says.

  • Times Now-C Voter gives 116 to the NDA and a slight lead for the opposition at 120. It says Chirag Paswan’s party will win one seat.
  • Republic TV-Jan Ki Baat gave 118 to 138 seats to the opposition alliance and 91-117 seats to the ruling NDA. Chirag Paswan’s party is likely to win five to eight seats, it says.
  • TV9-Bharatvarsh gives the Tejashwi Yadav-led alliance 120 seats and 115 seats to the NDA. The LJP could win four, it says.
  • Today’s Chanakya predicts a landslide for Tejashwi Yadav’s alliance at 180. The NDA, it says, will be restricted to 55 and the LJP, zero.
  • News X-dvresearch gives the NDA 110 to 117 seats and the opposition 108 to 123. The LJP is seen to win four to 10 seats.
  • Dainik Bhaskar is the outlier, giving the NDA 120 to 127 and the opposition 71 to 81. The LJP is given 12 to 23 seats.

Any party or coalition needs 122 seats to form a government in Bihar.

If these polls are any indication, anti-incumbency may block Nitish Kumar’s bid for a fourth straight term. Discontent over jobs, the migrant crisis, and the handling of the coronavirus and floods could be the chief minister’s undoing who prided himself as “Susashan Babu.”

However, going by a general feeling, it appears that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has been ruling the state for the last 15 years, is the preferred candidate to be the chief minister again, suggests a survey conducted by ABP news channel.

But in this campaign, Tejashwi Yadav, 31, emerged as the crowd magnet, drawing huge cheers at every rally with his promise of signing off on 10 lakh government jobs at his very first cabinet meeting. He has every probability of becoming the next chief minister of Bihar.

Out of the five declared contenders, Kushwaha and Pushpam Priya Chaudhary can be ruled out seeing their performance as per exit poll results. However, Chirag Paswan is on a different footing. He may not become a king, but his role as kingmaker cannot be ruled out. 

Now it has to be seen who will be the chief minister out of these six contenders. Will the appearance of today’s politics change, will a new alliance change after the election, will a new face take over as CM? Or Nitish Kumar will take over the throne again, will have to wait till November 10 to answer these questions.