Representational photo of Electronic Voting Machine

Prevailing COVID-19 pandemic had its effect on campaign for 71 of total 243 assembly seats in the first phase of three-phased Bihar assembly elections. Campaigning for the first phase ended on a calm note on October 26.

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The 71 seats will vote on October 28.

Private choppers of political parties taking rounds from the state headquarter to different destinations carrying the top brass were grounded and the candidates were busy in door-to-door campaign to ensure their victory.

The stalwarts preferred aerial tour and avoided roadshows due to the COVID-19 pandemic which had its impact on the overall campaign.

In majority of the political meetings, people were seen not using masks while they flayed the social distancing norms.

The colourful and noisy campaign – convoy, wall writings, posters and banners and blowing of loudspeakers – have already become a matter of past following strict measures of the election commission, which this time imposed various limits to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Prominent leaders who campaigned in favour of the NDA candidates included prime minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Giriraj Singh, Nityanand Rai, RK Singh, Dharmendra Pradhan, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP national president JP Nadda, former Maharashtra chief minister and Bihar election in-charge Devendra Fadnavis, in- charge of BJP political affairs in Bihar Bhoopendra Yadav. From Janata Dal (U), Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar was handling the entire campaign with support of some of the prominent leaders of his party.

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Pollsters noted the absence of veteran Dalit leader Ramvilas Paswan, founder of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) who passed away recently. His son and LJP national president Chirag Paswan, has taken the responsibility of campaign all alone for his party candidates. The LJP, despite being a partner of NDA at the centre, entered into the electoral battle at its own in Bihar triggering political row within the alliance.

The main alliance partner of the grand alliance, RJD was banking upon its leader Tejasvi Prasad Yadav who turned to be a crowd-puller in absence of his father and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav who is behind the bars.

Another constituent unit of grand alliance, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, in-charge of party affairs in Bihar Shakti Singh Gohil, MP Akhilesh Singh and others campaigned for the Congress candidates.

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