No to ‘die-nasty’ politics
Bihar election results are more unpredictable and thriller than a 20-20 cricket match now-a-days. But now that the cat is out of the bag, the Mahagathbandhan strategists have to introspect in a deeper sense. Despite having a strong confidence to win the Bihar Test, the Tejaswi phenomenon could not work. The massive rallies of Tejaswi failed to yield results. Ultimately, the caste factor was the sole issue to counter the development agenda and tall personality of Narendra Modi. It is really a triumph of the people of Bihar. Looking at the way BJP’s seats in the state have increased compared to previous elections and decrease in its ally Janata Dal (U)’s seats, it can be said that people’s faith in the BJP on national unity, empowerment of India and development has enhanced. It is also a message of inspiration to political parties to maintain their image, policies, political outlook and alliances. People in Bihar have cast their vote on ground issues rather than on phony issues. Somewhere in these elections, the issue of good governance also worked and this issue of good governance will be the priority of the new government. For the Congress and Lalu ruled the state for 58 years on a diet of promises without ever delivering. Hence, in the process, they ruined it beyond imagination. However, the nail-biting finish of election results in Bihar can be attributed to the fact that Chirag Paswan became a spoiler of the overwhelming win by the NDA. What after all are his real credentials that he thought of taking on Nitish Kumar? Like Rahul Gandhi and the Yadavs, their sole claim to power is their ancestry, which is anathema to true democracy. The RJD had already put Bihar’s development twenty years behind through its jungle raj in the past. If the RJD had won, it would have been the repeat of misrule. And the people of Bihar well remembered this fact and they reposed their faith in development-oriented politics. Though the JD(U)-BJP alliance is the winner, it is to be noted that it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development agenda that has demonstrated that the caste arithmetic of rivals RJD, Congress and LJP will not work beyond a point. That is a lesson political parties must learn, and try to emulate. Bihar, which was once dubbed a basket case, will now be the test laboratory of developmental politics minus the casteist agenda and minus the ‘die-nasty’ politics.
For 15 years, Lalu Yadav kept Bihar on a diet of promises without ever delivering. Nitish did not promise much but on those that he did, he quietly delivered. The performance of the RJD, LJP and the Congress reflects not only the erosion of their credibility but also the trust in Modi. The collective might of Tejaswi Yadav and Rahul Gandhi could do little to spoil Modi’s image because, despite severing their ties, people of Bihar saw the ‘die-nasty’ party Congress as an ally of another ‘die-nasty’ party RJD. Both the Congress and the RJD once again played the dynastic trump card, but it did not have the effect it was thought to be. In politics, power is not a property that is bequeathed among relatives and family. But sadly, many politicians of the country are engaged in creating a similar role for their sons and daughters, and it also cast a shadow on the Bihar elections. Although the RJD has emerged as the largest party, it has won lesser seats than it won last time. What is more, the ‘secular’ media described Tejaswi’s election campaigning as magic and gave Mahagathbandhan clear edge over NDA in the exit polls. It is this coterie that was planning to put Tejaswi in CM’s chair. So, they drew a master plan: highlight Tejaswi’s campaigning in Bihar, create media hype, pep up his image using old tactics–stay with Muslims, eat with Dalits, travel by second-class train, etc. What adds salt to Mahagathbandhan’s injury is the fact that despite Rahul’s active touring to lure voters in Bihar, the Congress got thrashed in elections. Any leader would have been dumped for this dismal show, but Gandhis are always an exception. No wonder, they have been absolved of the defeat. One would concur with me, if the Congress had improved its tally, all credit would have gone to Rahul Gandhi. Amazing, we tried to demolish kingdoms in democratic India, but we still found a way to create one within a democratic party!
By Deepak Kumar Rath