As the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections began on Sunday, May 19, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar cast his vote in a polling booth in Patna. This is the first time that Nitish Kumar is exercising his franchise from Patna as he changed his constituency from Bakhtiarpur district which is his place of birth.
After exercising his right to vote, JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar spoke to media on length on an array of issues including the recent controversies around his name. What may be called a new move by a leader, Kumar said that Lok Sabha elections should be held in one or two phases and it should not be held in scorching heat but in the month of February or March. He added that it should be discussed at an all-party forum.
Further, he condemned the statement by BJP's Bhopal candidate Pragya Singh Thakur and said: "It is condemnable. What action the party takes is their internal matter. We should not tolerate such a statement." He also spoke on the allegation by the RJD that he wanted to return to the Mahagathbandhan within few days of re-joining the NDA and sent Prashant Kishor to Lalu Yadav to convince him.
Slamming the RJD, Kumar said:
"I gave the name Mahgathbandhan, but he created a situation that I had to leave. I want to return - there can be nothing more rubbish than this. Where is the question of returning? I began work for the welfare of society, this work of alcohol ban is for the benefit of society. Whatever people say, whatever people write, this is for benefit of the society. What did I say to him (Tejashwi Yadav), explain the allegations on you, he could have explained but he didn't. Congress party also urged them to explain but they did not move so I broke the bond. Then there came a new alliance and for the benefit of Bihar, I agreed. Prashant Kishor was with us in the 2015 election. Kishor has come to our party (JD(U) in September. But he had relations with all of us since long. He knew Lalu ji and he also worked for Narendra Modi ji. After he came into our party his role is of a political activist, why will I ask him to go. There's no reason, Prashant Kishor has himself given a statement rubbishing the claim."
Bihar has polled in all the seven phases and in the last phase 8 constituencies namely - Nalanda, Patna Sahib, Pataliputra, Arrah, Buxar, Sasaram,Kurakat, Jahanabad are polling. The key contest in these constituencies is between Ravishankar Prasad (BJP) vs Shatrughan Sinha (Congress) from Patna Sahib, Ram Kripal Yadav (BJP) vs Misa Bharti (RJD) from Patliputra, Ashwani Kumar Choubey (BJP) vs Jagadanand Singh (RJD) from Buxar.
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