As the clouds on Bihar Elections cleared and it was evident that Mahagatbandhan comprising of JD(U),RJD and INC were home safely, my Facebook wall was flooded with people disappointed with the mandate.
“welcome to Jungle Raj”
“Sad day for Bihar…”
“Pack you bags and run away from Bihar”
“Guess Biharis hate development”
“Nitish loses election, retains CM’s chair.”
“Lalu is back.RIP development”
Just a glimpse of what my wall looked like. I am pretty sure, if everyone, who is unhappy now, voted then; results would have been different. But wait, not all who voiced their opinion could vote. There were people who hardly knew about Bihar politics leave alone vote for their candidate. There were people for whom Bihar politics was as simple as below equations-
JD(U)= Good Governance
RJD= Jungle Raj
Congress= Who cares about them anyway.
Hence the election results translated into
Jungle Raj. Hope for Good governance. Development Ignored
But, one would be a fool to interpret Bihar elections so superficially. Irrespective of who won, it was the victory of democracy and we must congratulate the people of Bihar for giving a clear mandate. While bucketing JD(U),RJD and Congress as victor and BJP as loser, we ignore the fact that it is BJP and JD(U) who have lost the most in these elections. JD(U) happens to be a bad player ending up in a winning team.
Talking in terms of number of seats, BJP was down by approx 41% and JD(U) the second closest loser down by 38%. Overall, the breakup was lose-lose for both and RJD and Congress made the most of it.
I wont attribute the loss of BJP to Narendra Modi or Amit Shah as I won’t attribute any of the victory of BJP solely to them. The entire team which worked towards this Bihar election failed. Narendra Modi has his share of blame to take as the captain of this team. One crucial point that BJP missed was to put a face to its campaign. Bihar politics revolves deeply around personality cult. The reason why BJP swept Loksabha elections was that they had a poster boy in the form of Narendra Modi while others went faceless. While Mahagatbandhan learnt from the past, BJP forgot to change the posters for Bihar elections. Bihar wanted to know their would be Chief Minister. They had every right to know who would lead them. Bihar needs someone who can steer the state to right path. The state could not gamble on Modi and hope that some able being gets to the helm of the affair.Narendra Modi did well to start off the election campaign with a special package announcement to Bihar. But instead of building on that great start, BJP leader only lost ground my making irresponsible comments. Mahagatbandhan did well by announcing their Chief Minister candidate well in advance. Déjà vu!! Exactly what BJP did in 2014. BJP could get solace in the fact they were close second on most of the seats.
For JD(U), the decision to part ways with BJP was a double edged sword. Nitish Kumar stuck to his promise to not promote the right wing elements in NDA. People saw him as someone who could take a stand and stick to it. At the same time, coming together with RJD tarnished his image of ‘Vikas Purush‘. Overall, this new arrangement did more harm to him. But the good news is that he could tide over the anti incumbency wave and retain his office for yet another term.
RJD and congress should be happy. They got the biggest pie. It would take congress some time to realize that they bagged 27 seats in Bihar. Both congress and RJD where served eviction notice in last assembly election.They had a lot at stake and one wrong move could have pushed them to dark pigeon hole meant for obsolete things.
Now that results are out, there is nothing that victors and losers could do. BJP should learn to not oversell Modi. They should also understand that people want them to run government and not prescribe what not to eat.Yes, our ties with Pakistan are not very cordial. But trying to paint it in communal color or evoke hatred for any community is not the best way forward. Every day is different and so is every voter. One peculiar factor for states like Bihar is that most of the youth have migrated to other states for better opportunities. This forms the majority on social media sites. Hence, if you want to reach out to your voters, you must do a door-to-door campaign like Nitish Kumar did. Likes and shares on Facebook would most likely not translate into votes.
Victors need to watch their back as well. I won’t be surprised if this alliance falls apart. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Lalu and Nitish are both dominating by nature. Arrangement initially appears very simple, RJD would trade the post of CM with key cabinet posts. But, conflicts are bound to happen. I wont be surprised if they part way midway. In that scenario, We can’t rule out a JDU- BJP alliance.
Drama is far from over. Whosoever it pans out, we sincerely hope that development of the state is not compromised.
Its NOW or NEVER!!