Bihar Chief Mininster Nitish Kumar created a flutter on Thursday when he declared the assembly polls under way in the state were his “last”.
“Today is the last day (of campaign for the final phase of assembly election). Polling will take place the day after tomorrow. This is my last election,” he told an election rally here in Purnea district in the dying moments of electioneering.
Tejashwi Yadav, the opposition Grand Alliance's chief ministerial contender, has often claimed Kumar was “tired”.
The 69-year-old leader has ruled the state for nearly 15 years and served as a union minister quite a few times.
Nitish Kumar, who is seeking a fourth straight term in office, urged the electors to vote the NDA to power yet again.
“All's well that ends well,” he said.
Campaigning for the third and final phase of Bihar assembly elections in which 2.35 crore voters will decide the electoral fate of more than 1,200 candidates, including the Speaker and some members of the state cabinet, ended on Thursday evening.
The final phase of polling on Saturday will cover 78 constituencies spread across 19 north Bihar districts.
Leading from the front, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed rallies in remote districts of Araria and Saharsa for this phase of elections, exhorting the masses to retain their trust in the NDA.
He asserted that the coalition headed in the state by Chief Minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar was looking forward to meet the “aspirations” of people in the decade to follow, having fulfilled their “needs” in the preceding one.
Nitish slams Yogi
NDA partners BJP and the JD(U) appear divided on the contentious new citizenship law, with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asserting illegal immigrants will be thrown out of the country and the alliance's CM face for Bihar Nitish Kumar calling such talk “faltu baat”.
Notes of dissonance emanated from the JD(U)-BJP stable on Wednesday when Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed displeasure over the hard line adopted by some in the coalition over illegal immigration, comments seen as a rebuff to his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath.
Kumar, who heads the Janata Dal (United) and enjoys support of a section of the state's Muslims, frowned upon the “faltu baat” (rubbish) at rallies in Araria and Kishanganj districts on Wednesday. Both districts have a heavy concentration of the minority community.
“Who are these people indulging in faltu baat... that people will be thrown out of the country? Ever since you have given us a chance to serve, we have taken all people along.