The first phase of polling for the Bihar Assembly elections was conducted on 28 October while the country continued to battle with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Undoubtedly, this is going to be a very crucial election for many reasons. This is the first election which will be conducted without Lalu Prasad Yadav, while his son takes over the reigns of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). The results of the Bihar elections will tell us a lot about the future of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and how the BJP will devise a strategy at the national level. At the same time, we are seeing a second generation of politicians such as Chirag Paswan (son of Late Ram Vilas Paswan) and Tejashwi Yadav (son of Lalu Prasad Yadav) take over their respective parties. The results will show us how they fared and whether they managed to win the support of Bihari voters.
Given the current state of Bihar, with Covid-19 and the migrant crisis, the main focus of the elections has become unemployment. The state unemployment rate is being reported at around 12%, almost double of the national average of 7%. While this number is huge, it has improved drastically since the beginning of the year when the unemployment rate of the state touched 46% as a consequence of Covid-19. In fact, a Team C-Voter survey said that 54% of voters said that unemployment was a main voting issue. Unlike past elections, unemployment is a key focus point for voters. The Election Commission guidelines for both election campaigning and voting during Covid-19 to ensure social distancing and safety of voters. Despite this, parties violated all norms during campaigning and during roadshows and rallies large crowds gathered without wearing masks or maintaining social distancing.