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[18 Oct 2010 | View Comments | ]
Why is Nitish wary before the crucial Elections in Bihar?

On the face of it, JDU seems to be sitting pretty. Its Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar has swept an impressive list of awards during his tenure including Business reformer of the year award by ET (2009), Indian of year award by NDTV (2009) & CNN-IBN(2008), Best Chief Minister award by CNN-IBN, HT (2007) etc..The opposition claims that much of the development is an urban phenomenon and the conditions of the rural masses have only worsened. Their hope is that the rural population will not be swayed by the development agenda of Nitish Kumar and will vote on traditional issues of caste alignment and will even punish Nitish for his elitism. Behind the bonhomie and confidence of Nitish Kumar, his tension too is palpable thanks largely to the drubbing that NDA got during the last bye-elections held in 2009 where it could muster just 5 (JDU-3, BJP-2) out of 18 seats and the RJD-LJP combine notched up 9 seats and Congress 2 seats. But in a way the defeat has also served as an early warning signal to him and prevented him from going overboard in trumpeting his achievements. In fact he shrewdly refers to his own failure in the energy sector by declaring it as his next priority if he wins this election. He also contrasts his 5 years of rule with the 15 years of RJD and 40 years of Congress and calls his governance as work still in progress.