Interview: 'Very hard to pick a winner in Bihar'

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New Delhi, Aug 3: Who will conquer Bihar in the forthcoming assembly elections? At the moment it looks increasingly difficult to predict a clear winner. The next couple of days will be extremely crucial. There are a host of factors that will be in play during the Bihar elections.

The seat sharing between the RJD-JD(U) is one such factor. For the BJP it is battling many controversies and it is to be seen how enthusiastic the party workers at Bihar are. All in all it is very difficult to pick one winner.

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At the current stage it is a very stiff contest says Dr Sandeep Shastri, leading psephologist, Vice Chancellor of Jain University and National Coordinator of Lokniti Network. In this interview with OneIndia, Dr Shastri says that there are a lot of factors that would be at work which would include the alliance and how it works at the ground level.

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What are your predictions for the Bihar assembly elections?

At the current stage it appears to be a very stiff contest. If one were to do the math right now, the RJD-JD(U) appear to have the upper hand. However politics is not simply about mathematically adding up. This is what makes me feel that the race is very tight now.

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What the key factors that would go into the elections?

There are a couple of factors. The first factor would be the care and caution that parties will take while choosing their candidates. The manner in which a party chooses its candidates and their credibility is very crucial.

The second point is which how the alliances work at the ground level. Whether it is the BJP or the JD(U), the alliances will play a very crucial role. How much will these alliances help in switching the vote at the ground level is what needs to be seen.

How do you see the RJD-JD(U) combination shaping up?

The RJD and the JD(U) have battled it out hard in Bihar. They have had a fierce competition since the past 10 years. When the two parties share seats it would be interesting to see if either of them are able to switch their original vote bank in the favour of the other.

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What about the BJP's chances?

This election is extremely important taking into consideration the political context under which it is happening. The honeymoon period for the BJP seems to be over. Moreover the party is dealing with a lot of controversies. It is to be seen how much these controversies work in the minds of the people of Bihar.

Also another factor that needs to be noted is whether the party level workers will remain enthusiastic in the wake of these controversies.

Also read: Bihar assembly election 2015: EC publishes final voters list

Will the fact that Nitish Kumar resigned and then returned make any difference?

This is a very tough question that he would need to answer. I myself am very interested in seeing how he is able to explain this. After all he resigned after the Lok Sabha elections and then returned. He would need to explain this to the people of Bihar.

It is to seen how the people of Bihar would react. More importantly we need to see what explanation he will give in this regard. However these are all factors during the elections. At the moment it is very difficult to pick a winner in Bihar. The battle is a very hard one for all parties.

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