Home » Elections, Featured

How Bihar Elections can change the course of Indian Politics?

9 October 2010 View Comments

Bihar assembly elections are slated to be held from October 21 to November 20, 2010 in six long phases. These elections are unique in many ways.  They are critical not just for the future of the state, but will also shape the national political landscape. They are the first of its kind where elections are sought to be fought over ‘measurable’ performance. It has been the norm earlier to ‘promise the moon’ but shun anything that can be measured accurately. Elections in India have always been fought on amorphous issues –  issues of political alignment of various castes or other interest groups, slogans to remove poverty, curb corruption, eliminate unemployment etc.,  secularism, negative issues of uprooting the incumbents or simply the disarray in the opposition camps. Win or loose, there has never been any co-relation between the results of an election and  the impact on any of these issues. Elections in India are never fought over the number of jobs created, number of bridges made, new roads laid, Megawatts of generation capacity added, number of criminals convicted, number of children enrolled, drinking water, sanitation – anything that has a direct impact on the quality of human life. Yet Nitish broke with tradition by promising five years ago that he would not seek another mandate if he is unable to deliver on these issues. It was a tall claim at the time based on the sorry state of affairs that he inherited. It is time now to evaluate whether he has done enough or failed to live up to the standards set by himself. If he succeeds, he will bury the jinx that performance can not be used as the crown jewel of electoral strategy. If he looses, it will prove once again that identity politics still reigns supreme.

Bihar Elections Nitish, Lalu, Paswan

The three stalwarts of Bihar Politics

Apart from the central issue of performance however there are other salient features of these Bihar Elections. For one, Nitish Kumar’s JDU is seriously wooing the ‘Muslim’ vote-bank even though it continues its alliance with BJP. Faced with similar situation, earlier partners of BJP had all parted way before lobbying for the ‘secular’ votes. ‘The elections are also different this time because unlike the previous occasion, RJD  and LJP have decided to come together while the Congress is fighting alone on all the seats after decades of fighting for crumbs under RJD’s shadow.

These elections are also critical for the state’s fortune because its economy is precariously perched on the cusp of a transition. Even though the state has won numerous accolades over its reported growth rate which was second only to Gujarat, it is well known within the state that the growth has come solely due to the increase in public expenditure and the expansion of private sector in the telecom field. No medium, large or even small Industry of any significance has seen the day light during the past five years. At one level it depicts the failure of Nitish government to attract any private investment. But at another level it highlights the immense potential within the state. If such a growth rate (albiet on very smal base) is possible without any significant private investment in manufacturing, what would be the shape of economy if the the government is able to attract private investment in its next avatar. Indeed it is widely speculated that private investment in Bihar is waiting at the doorsteps, closely monitoring the outcome of these elections. What Nitish has clearly done in the past five years is to arrest the slide and neutralise the disadvantage faced by the state due to its poor law and order condition. Its squarely upon the next government now to build on the progress made in the last five years and not slide back into anarchy of the earlier times.
The stage is all set for the five major Political parties – JDU, BJP, RJD, LJP and Congress apart from the left parties, BSP and various smaller parties to embark on the election campaign to fight the battle royale.  As they say in Bollywood – Lights, camera, action…..

Part: 1 2 3 4 5 6

  • http://www.polltics.org/congress-sitting-pretty Rahul Gandhi | Congress | Bihar Elections | Indian Politcs

    […] 1 2 3 4 5 […]

blog comments powered by Disqus