The landslide victory of the JD(U)-BJP alliance, led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, in the Bihar assembly elections is a confirmation of the indications available during the poll campaign and the trends seen in the surveys held during the polls.
It is also a personal victory for Nitish Kumar, who is set to lead the state for the second time. The tactical position he adopted by de-emphazing his party’s association with the BJP in a state where the Muslims account for 15 percent of the electorate, and the strategic emphasis on development of the state, have paid rich dividends by a win much more emphatic than in the last election.
Ironically, the BJP gained more than the JD (U) as a result of his poll plan. The party did well even in Muslim-dominated areas, riding on the Chief Minister’s popularity. The lesson could be that it stands to do better if its ideology takes a back seat. The alliance performed very well all over the state, proving that it has uniform support across all regions and sections of people.
The unprecedented three-fourths majority is an endorsement by the people of the development and good governance agenda put forth by the ruling alliance and its performance in the last five years. The sick state of the country is now among the leaders in development and the credit for this goes to the Nitish government.
The results show that the people rose above considerations of caste, community and religion, which were the bane of Bihar’s politics, and voted for a vision of the state based on progress. That may be a turning point in the state’s politics. It is equally a voters’ call based on hope, as the state has to go much further from the beginnings made by the government in the last five years. That casts a big responsibility on the new government and it will do well to be aware of that.
While the JD (U)-BJP alliance has secured a sweeping victory, the Lalu Prasad-led RJD-LJP alliance has suffered a telling defeat. It is a decisive blow to Lalu Yadav, who will now have to struggle to retain his relevance in the state’s politics. The Congress Party was for long a bit player in the state and its humiliation was no surprise. It has also put paid to tall claims that Rahul Gandhi would make a difference to its lost fortunes.
Courtesy: Deccan Herald