On the concluding day of campaigning on Thursday, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar declared that the Bihar Assembly elections will be his last.
Speaking at a rally in Purnia’s Dhamdhaha, Kumar said, “Please know, today is the last day of campaigning. Day after tomorrow is voting. And this is my last election. Ant bhala to sab bhala (All’s well that ends well).”
— ANI (@ANI) November 5, 2020
Voting for the third and final phase of Bihar elections will take place on November 7 and the results will be announced on November 10.
The 69-year-old JDU chief could very well remember this election as the most challenging he has ever faced. His popularity has nose-dived rapidly (going by surveys and public reactions) from the day elections were announced to this day when people seem to be demanding a change from the old guard to a new one. An anti-incumbency wave and voter fatigue are apparent that threaten to dethrone the five-term Bihar chief minister.
A pre-poll survey by Lokniti-CSDS estimated that the satisfaction in the state with the Nitish Kumar-led government has fallen by as much as 28%, as compared to what it was in 2015. Nitish may still be the most popular choice for Bihar CM, but the survey showed that only 31 per cent voters want the JDU chief to lead Bihar. RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, the opposition alliance’s chief minister candidate, is close at 27 per cent.
Faced with two young leaders – Tejashwi Yadav, 31, and Chirag Paswan, 38 – Nitish Kumar is increasingly finding it difficult to justify his continuation as the head of state, which is facing renewed challenges of unemployment, loss of revenue, floods and of course, poverty.
No wonder, every time Tejashwi Yadav steps on the stage to address the crowds, reminds the sexagenarian Bihar CM that he is “tired” and “no longer able to manage Bihar”.