The on-going elections in Bihar completed its first stage on Thursday, October 21. The elections are proving to be a major test for all parties, and especially for Chief Minister Nitesh Kumar.
While Lalu Prasad Yadav has claimed that all improvements to the state were done during his tenure, with Nitish simply reaping the benefits, Nitish has stuck to his guns, choosing two crucial issues - law & order and state development.
A look at the affairs on the ground seems to favour Nitish with Bihar genuinely on a upsurge, especially in development. But only time will tell if the polling booths also agree with this verdict. Nitish is banking on popular support for his schemes and feels optimistic despite a hammering from the opposition in the campaign trail.
Meanwhile the state has seen a spate of high-ranking campaigners. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and L K Advani were some of the heavy weights who aggressively canvassed in the state along with a slew of lesser lights.
Image: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar shakes hands with supporters during an election rally in Darbhanga in the state on Oct 16, 2010.