Bihar Elections are around the corner and if not for Corona this would have been a very busy time for all major parties and politicians across the country. The central cabinet virtually shifts base from Lutyen’s Delhi to Patna for the month or two leading to the state elections with ministers seen conducting massive rallies across the length and breadth of the state.
Although this election was expected to be a boring one as the incumbent virtually has no credible competition, the LJP(Ramvilas Paswan’s party currently led by his son Chirag Paswan) has made it slightly interesting by declaring support to the BJP while opposing JD(U). With Lalu Yadav in prison and the sad demise of Ram Vilas Paswan, there is no one in the state at this moment who is capable of standing up to Nitish Kumar.
Although the sons of Lalu and Ramvilas have taken up the leadership of their respective parties in their hands they are no match to their legendary fathers.
RJD already suffers because a large section of the society especially the middle class still remembers the infamous Jungle Raj, and with Lalu in jail they may also find it difficult to hold on to their traditional M-Y (Muslim-Yadav) vote bank.
Congress has not been a major player in the state in the last 3 decades, they lost the confidence of the people after the Bhagalpur riots (1989) and never gained it back majorly because of their incapability of producing a leader of to stand against Nitish and Lalu.
BJP too has failed to produce a popular face, the likes Sushil Modi and Ravishankar Prasad are big figures but not big enough to take charge of a state like Bihar but their alliance with JD(U) has helped them to be in power in the state for the last 15 years barring the time when JD(U) left NDA and formed the government with RJD and Congress (Maha-gathbandhan) which explains why BJP always has been the junior partner in the alliance with JD(U) in the state.
JD(U) is a party which is in the strongest position in the state. Under Nitish Kumar, Bihar has witnessed tremendous growth in the past decade and a half, from the time it was a state known for its criminal-politician nexus in 2005 to be amongst the fastest-growing states now. A simple way of proving this would be pointing out that Bihar has always been known as the state with the worst literacy rate and no one ever thought that would ever change but in the latest data released by the Govt. of India, Bihar now has a literacy rate better than Andhra Pradesh which is a feat because the southern states have always been known to score high in terms of these parameters. But JD(U) is almost entirely dependent on Nitish Kumar who considering his age may start thinking about retirement soon, JD(U) will be faced with an existential crisis if they don’t produce a successor to Nitish Kumar.
The lack of a popular face and a capable leader is a problem for all parties in the state, at this point, there seems to be no one apart from Nitish Kumar who can take control of the state in their hands.
So, in conclusion, it seems that “Sushashan-Babu” with support from Narendra Modi led BJP will comfortably retain his chair which will also bring a much-needed win for BJP which has been facing tremendous ire at the centre for its handling of the national economy and the corona crisis.
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