Low turnout in peaceful Bihar bypoll

Low turnout in peaceful Bihar bypoll

By-elections to the ten Assembly constituencies in Bihar passed off peacefully on Thursday with nearly 46 per cent voters exercising their franchise.

The turnout was relatively less compared to the last Lok Sabha and 2010 Assembly elections where an average 70 per cent polling was recorded.

Perceived to be a semi-final before the 2015 Assembly elections, the stakes are high for not only Lalu and Nitish but for the BJP’s prospective chief ministerial candidate Sushil Kumar Modi too.

In the absence of senior BJP leaders like L K Advani, Arun Jaitley and Narendra Modi, it was Sushil Modi who spearheaded the BJP campaign on his own.

If the BJP succeeds in repeating its Lok Sabha polls performance of May, it will bolster Sushil Modi’s bid to project himself as the future chief minister of Bihar.

An adverse result would pose a question mark on his leadership and give ample ammunition to more than half a dozen state BJP leaders who are not comfortable with Modi, the former deputy chief minister, being projected as the next chief minister.

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