Local factors like choice of candidates and issues affecting constituencies appear to have taken a backseat for people as they prepare to cast their votes on October 12 in the first phase of Assembly election.
       
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rallies are powering the NDA campaign, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar too is leaving no stone unturned to impress upon people that he is the best man to lead the state.
    
"Nitishe hain (It's Nitish)," says Bhumika Prasad, ashopkeeper in Munger constituency, arguing that he remains the best bet for Bihar. "Modi ji will not be running Bihar," he says when asked about the Prime Minister's development pitch for the poor state.
    
While the first clash of two leaders in the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 resulted in a setback for the JD(U) leader with his party relegated to number three position, he has put up a spirited, tactical fight in the Assembly polls after teaming up with RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
    
With the state BJP leaders being kept out of the focus of its high-powered campaign, the saffron party is depending on Modi's fire power to propel the NDA ahead of the Nitish-led grand alliance.
    
Party chief Amit Shah is the only person who finds a place besides Modi in the large hoardings exhorting people to vote for lotus, BJP symbol, to usher in development in Bihar. An interaction with a cross-section of people in different parts of the state suggests that Modi remains a big draw but what is also unmistakable is the goodwill Nitish enjoys, more so among the poor.
    
"Modi ji is drawing the kind of crowds which no national leader has done in Bihar in a long time. He has his own style. People also appreciate the work done by Nitish ji," Ramkant Pathak, a college teacher, says.

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