Express News Service

PATNA :  The BJP is eying the upcoming panchayat elections in Bihar as a means to penetrating deep into the state by committing support to like-minded candidates.

This would mark the first time the national party would be mobilising its cadre to canvass and vote for candidates, who would not be contesting on party lines.

The dates for the three-tier panchayat elections were announced on Tuesday. Political observers said the BJP seems to be banking on the prospects of the winners backed by it creating a deep pool of dedicated party cadre.

Announcing the decision on Monday, Bihar BJP chief Dr Sanjay Jaiswal had said the party decided to throw their weight behind like-minded candidates to strengthen the grassroots of democracy to make the state one of the most prosperous in the country.

The BJP is the second largest party in Bihar after the RJD, with cadre spread deep into the interiors of the state. 

The State Election Commission on Tuesday released the dates for the panchayat elections under 11 phases starting September 24 and ending December 12.

The poll panel has banned the use of party flags and posters of all political parties.

This would also mark the first time when the elections would be conducted through EVMs on the lines of Assembly elections.

Representatives for four Panchayat Raj institutions would be elected through this mode.  

Ballot papers would be used for the elections of ward councillors, the panch and the Sarpanch of Gram-Kachahari.

State Election Commissioner Dipak Kumar said voting would be held for 8,072 panchayat heads and members of 1,160 district council posts, besides other posts. 

The BJP’s decision to support candidates comes amid straining relations with JD(U), which has broken ranks on Pegasus snoopgate and caste-based census.