Decoding Bihar Elections
Election fever in Bihar is gradually rising. The people of Bihar, seemingly having buried the cynical evil of caste politics deep down the ground, are going to script a new chapter in the state assembly elections. Overall, this time the contest seems to be between the JDU-BJP alliance and the RJD-Congress-Communist alliance. The LJP has decided to contest the elections on its own. Whose government will be formed after the election of Bihar cannot be said now. However, the RJD-Congress-Communist alliance is contesting this election under the leadership of Lalu’s son Tejaswi Yadav, and he claims that he will form the government, because now the people of Bihar are bored with the four-time Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. It is not a big deal if we see the impact of the Corona epidemic conditions on this election. The image of Nitish Babu, created as ‘Sushasan Babu’, has taken a dent owing to the pathetic condition of migrant labourers of Bihar at the national level during the lockdown period arising from Corona. Due to this problem, the politics of Bihar is causing a breakdown of the caste equations. What is more, RJD’s biggest argument is that Nitish is not trustworthy. He broke ties with the BJP in 2013, contested the 2015 election by joining hands with the RJD and then sat in the BJP’s lap. Be that as it may, if there is anyone who has the strongest iron wall against these arguments of RJD, it is the image of Narendra Modi. The BJP is confident that it will win its seats in the name of Modi. The people of Bihar will vote for BJP in so many seats that it will emerge as the largest party. As far as Bihar BJP is concerned, there has been a positivity among the people of Bihar. Investors and economy watchers want the BJP to win in Bihar. The challenge for Modi is to take the process forward. The government’s push on the financial inclusion front, creation of a social security network, roll-out of direct benefit transfer, overhauling the financial sector structure, and farms and labour bills have been seen as critical steps in the overall reform progress.
In the past, for 15 years, Lalu Prasad 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 collective might of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Tejaswi Yadav would seemingly do little to spoil Nitish’s image because, the people of Bihar are seeing the ‘die-nasty’ party Congress as an ally of the RJD. It is an irony that the Congress that ruled Bihar for so many years is playing the second fiddle to the RJD. Therefore, when Rahul expresses his urge to take Bihar elections under his captaincy, senior Congressmen are sceptic. Against this backdrop, it is apt to mention that what would be more ironic is the fact that the common man, in whose name the elections are fought is still at a crossroads, economically or socially, but the economic progress of both the contending alliances and their leaders is hitting through the roof. What will be a bigger tragedy that even today, to win elections, political parties are found promising to fulfil the basic needs of human life, like providing electricity and clean water to every household. Bihar elections have once again made these questions relevant that what should the common man do? Therefore, it cannot be gainsaid that whichever coalition wins the Bihar elections, development should be guided at all levels, by setting new standards to solve the problems of the common man. This is the primary expectation of a strong democracy. Every party will have to make an effective effort to establish coordination between the honour and integrity of the country with its working style, so that the country can live with its identity and Bihar can get good governance and tread the path of development.
By Deepak Kumar Rath