Key issues that could impact the Bihar Assembly Election 2020
New Delhi, Sep 25: In what comes as the recent development in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Bihar is the first state to go to polls. However, this will be a big challenge for the voters as it will be for the candidates and political parties. But, what makes this challenge even bigger is the trail of destruction left behind by severe floods affecting nearly 18 districts, severely-hit state economy and the upcoming festive season.
All the important festivals like Navratri, Durga Puja, Chhath Puja, Diwali, Milad Un Nabi and more are in line in October-November, which usually bring migrants back home. With a large number of migrants already back and more likely to join, their mood and behaviour would be a thing to watch in the face of pandemic.
Though there is usually talk of anti-incumbency factor after 15-year-rule by any particular leader, in Bihar, a fractured opposition does not seem fully prepared to cash in on it, while the NDA is confident of another victory under Nitish Kumar.
Even the voting percentage might also play a major role in the upcoming elections. In the 2015 assembly election, the voter turnout of 56.8 per cent in Bihar largely due to participation by women. That will be a challenge to match for the election commission, as this is the first election happening in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic.
The migration issues might also play a huge role as the Opposition is trying to play up the migration issue in Bihar and the ruling dispensation is working hard to project its handling of the issue as its success. With nearly 30-lakh migrants reaching Bihar from various parts of the country amid the nationwide lockdown, the issue will remain hot. Migration from Bihar is not a new development, but the pandemic has reversed the norm.
It can be seen that the election in Bihar will not be the same when issues of Ram Mandir and Article 370. The clashes over CAA-NRC, which was quite loud before March, has also subsided. How the minorities will vote in this backdrop will be a thing to watch. They are traditionally known to vote in en masse and could impact the results on nearly 80 assembly seats.