Battle hots up, Modi to address rallies in Bihar

Patna, April 1: With the Lok Sabha election battle hotting up in Bihar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address his first rallies this time for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the state on Tuesday.

According to BJP leaders, Modi will address a rally each in Gaya and Jamui constituencies. Both are reserved seats and go to the polls in the first phase on April 11.

"Nitish Kumar, the face of the NDA in Bihar, will also join Modi in Gaya, from where he will launch his own poll campaign," leaders of his party Janata Dal-United (JD-U) said.

"Modi will address a dozen rallies, 2-3 in each phase of polling, during the campaign in Bihar. He addressed two public meetings before the announcement of the dates of the Lok Sabha polls," a BJP leader said.

With barely 10 days to go for the first of the seven phase elections in Bihar, the BJP has lined up heavyweights such as party Chief Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as well as a dozen Union ministers including Home Minister Rajnath Singh to campaign in the state.

The most noticeable absence in this year's election campaign is Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Chief Lalu Prasad, who is undergoing treatment at a government hospital in Ranchi after being convicted in the fodder scam.

In his father's absence, RJD's Tejashwi Yadav has emerged as one of the most sought after campaigners of the Opposition Grand Alliance.

Tejashwi, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, has been addressing 3-5 rallies a day since last week.

The Grand Alliance's other big campaigner Rahul Gandhi is likely to address two rallies ahead of the first phase of polling in the state, a Congress leader said. Last month, he addressed a rally in Purnea.

Under the Grand Alliance seat-sharing pact in Bihar, the RJD will contest on 20 seats, the Congress 9, while smaller parties like Upendra Kushawaha's Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) have got 5 seats, and Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) as well as the Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP) 3 seats each.

As per the NDA's seat-sharing formula, the BJP and the JD-U will contest on 17 seats each, leaving 6 seats for the Lok Jantantrik Party (LJP).


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