Bihar poll dates to be announced today

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New Delhi : Poll dates for the high-voltage Bihar Assembly elections are likely to be announced by the Election Commission on Wednesday. From the day of the announcement to the first notification, EC usually keeps a gap of three weeks. But the gap could also be four weeks — which is the outer limit. While there was no word on the number of phases, EC feels that since Bihar is a ‘stand alone’ election, availability of central forces would not be a problem. The term of the 243-member Bihar Assembly comes to an end on 29 November.

After ruling the state for ten years, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is seeking a third term this time in alliance with RJD and Congress after he walked out of NDA in June, 2013 snapping 17-year-old ties with BJP. BJP, which had almost swept the state in the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP and Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP, is hoping to repeat its performance.