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Biharis living in northeast bat for ‘good government’ back home

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Agartala/Guwahati: People from Bihar living in different parts of the northeast are intimately monitoring the on-going assembly polls in the state.

Thousands of people from Bihar are living in several northeastern states, especially in Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya, and engaging themselves in various trades and diverse works.

Most of them are reluctant to go to their home state to cast votes as they would lose their daily income for several days.

“We want a good government in Bihar as the state crucially needs superior governance for the economic upliftment of the backward people. We hate caste-based politics,” said Mahindar Kumar Mahato, who sells a mixture of nuts and peas in Agartala.

A resident of Vaishali district in Bihar, Mahato said “If we go to cast our votes in Bihar we would lose income for several days. A negligible number of people from different northeastern states have gone to their home districts to cast their votes and to see their family members.”

According to the Bihari people in northeast, in this year’s assembly election, corruption, development and price rise are playing a vital role in deciding the fate of political parties. These issues might affect the voting pattern, they added.

“In previous elections in Bihar, caste-based issues were very vital matters, but this time people want good all-weather roads, good health services, quality education and creation of job opportunities,” said Raju Kumar Yadav, a resident of Purnia (Sadar), one of the seven constituencies of Purnia district which would vote on November 5 in the last phase of five-phased Bihar assembly polls.

Raju Kumar Yadav, who makes linen items, said “Corruption should be checked and employment opportunities and educational facilities should be improved. Infrastructure, including roads and development, should be top agenda of political parties.”

Suraj Sheikh, 37, from Kishanganj in Bihar, a Muslim-dominated district, works as a sub-contractor on different projects of the Northeast Frontier Railway. He is based at Maligaon in Guwahat and stays in a rented house. He came to Assam 10 years ago and is trying to enrol himself in the state’s electoral list.

Dropping out of college due to poverty, he initially worked as a manager and site overseer for a local contractor and learned ropes. He has been taking sub-contracts for the past two years.

“We were a big family, four elder sisters and two brothers. Development in Bihar had been weak. In our village there were hardly a handful of graduates. I married here (Assam), but to a Bihari girl. Now Assam is my home and elections in Bihar have no meaning because the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) would be same the like Lalu (Prasad Yadav) or Nitish (Kumar), Sheikh said.

“Yes Nitish (Kumar) did good work, but not across Bihar. I am against communal and caste-based politics played out in Bihar by some political parties.”

Rickshaw puller Raghuram Paswan said “Due to abject poverty I have migrated to Guwahati many years back. We live in a small shanty where we five rickshaw pullers stay – all from Khagaria district of Bihar.”

“Our village has seen a bit of development these days but we are uneducated and have no work in modern Bihar. I have been here in Guwahati for nine years; before that I was in Tinsukia in upper Assam, pulling rickshaw for 11 years there before ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom) militant started killing Biharis.”

“We (Bihari) are still considered outsiders in some parts of the northeastern states. As we are not living Bihar for many years, so it is pointless to go and vote there, though Nitish Kumar is my favourite,” Paswan added.

(Sujit Chakraborty,IANS)

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Karnataka Polls: BJP On The Way to Win, Congress May Get Hard Defeat

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

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A state of 60 million people, Karnataka is home to the Information Technology hub of Benguluru and was ruled by the BJP once before.
Congress may have to taste defeat in Karnataka, VOA

The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.

Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.

This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.

The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.

The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.

In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.

Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.

BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.

There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.

Of the 2,654 candidates in the fray for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections, at least 883 are crorepatis and 645 have criminal cases against them, said two watchdogs after analysing their affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).
Karnataka Polls counting suggests big win for BJP, wikimedia commons

The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.

As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.

BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.

Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.

Modi’s Performance: Survey Reports That Significant Number of People Rate Performance of Modi Government as Below Expectations

According to market observers, broadly subdued Asian indices and disappointing macro-economic inflation data points released on Monday capped some gains.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, capital goods, metals, consumer durables and automobile stocks.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,993.53 points and a low of 35,498.83 points during the intra-day trade. (IANS)