New Delhi: The Bihar Assembly polls are likely to witness slugfest between RJD-JDU-Congress-NCP and BJP-LJP-RLSP-HAM alliances. The youth and women voters, especially around 24 lakh first time voters, may hold key to decide fate of candidates in two-cornered polls in the state.
The inclination of new voters will be crucial amid the slogans like communal vs secular, casteism equation vs development. As per the Election Commission report, number of voters in 18-19 age group has increased by three percent, while 76 lakh new voters have been added in the electoral rolls. They have already exercised their franchise in the last Lok Sabha polls.
In every election, around five percent floating voters decide at the last minute to whom they are going to vote. Most of the seats have seen a surge of around 50,000-60,000 new voters who will either cast votes first time or take decision as per the changed situation.
On an average, around 32,000 new voters have added in every constituency, while the margin of victory or defeat has been 12,000-13,000 for the last two assembly polls.
In the changed context, the LJP, which got 14 percent votes in 2005, has tied up with the BJP this time. Former chief minister and HAM president Jitan Ram Manjhi has also become part of NDA. The Congress, which grabbed nine percent votes in 2010, is ready to go to polls in alliance with RJD-JDU. NCP, which gained 2.5 percent votes, is also a part of RJD-JDU-Congress alliance.
Despite accepting Nitish Kumar as the chief ministerial candidate in 2010, BJP had left behind JDU in terms of vote share. It got three percent more votes in 2010 in comparison to 2005. Though Nitish Kumar took Bihar on the path of development in his first tenure as the Chief Minister, the JDU witnessed only 1.5 percent surge in its vote bank.