Patna: Polling began on Thursday in 57 constituencies in the fifth and final round of the Bihar polls in some of the state’s most backward pockets notorious for poverty, illiteracy as well as migration.
The pockets are also home to a sizable Muslim and Yadav population whom everyone is aggressively wooing.
The voting, which began at 7 am will end at 5 pm.
About 1.55 crore voters will be eligible to decide the political fate of 827 candidates in this phase in seven districts — Kishanganj, Purnea, Araria and Katihar in Seemanchal region, and Saharsa, Madhepura and Supaul in Kosi region.
This phase is crucial for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his allies, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and the Congress, as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA in the keen battle to control the 243-seat Bihar assembly.
The millions of votes polled in the staggered elections that began on October 12 will be counted on November 8.
The Yogi Adityanath government will build a “Rashtriya Prerna Sthal” along the banks of the Gomti River in Lucknow, dedicated to the memory of ‘nationalist’ leaders.
The Rashtriya Prerna Sthal will be developed on 82 acres of land on Hardoi road in Vasantkunj area. It will also have a city forest park.
The Sthal will have statues of Sardar Patel and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ideologues, including Shyama Prasad Mukhrejee, Deen Dayal Upadhayay and former prime minister, late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
According to the government spokesman, the Sthal will also have a Jan Sabha Kendra that will accommodate over one lakh people.
The Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) has been directed to prepare the blueprint for the project.
A herbal garden, a multi-activity centre and a cycle track will also be a part of the project. Sources said that a butterfly and a fruit garden, food court, craft bazaar, cafe, lotus and duck lake, Yoga zone, kids play area and an open theatre are also proposed in the Sthal.
An initial instalment of Rs 50 crore has been given to start the project, though the entire cost of the project is yet to be worked out.
This is the first time that the BJP government is building a project dedicated to its ideologues.
The Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) government had built several memorials dedicated to its ideologues includes Ambedkar and late Kanshi Ram. These include the Kanshi Ram Eco Garden, Ambedkar Park and Samajik Parivartan Sthal.
The Samajwadi Party, during their tenure, came up with the Lohia Park, Lohia Path, Janeshwar Misra Park and the Jai Prakash Narain International Centre in Lucknow.
“This will be a one-of-its-kind project that will have something for everyone. It will emerge as one of the biggest tourist attractions in the state,” said a minister who is involved in the project. (IANS)