Editorial

Nitish factor in Bihar

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/8/2020 1:51:06 PM IST

 Exit polls released after the conclusion of three-phased Bihar assembly elections project a distinct advantage for the Mahagathbandan( Grand Alliance) comprising of RJD-Cong-Left parties, suggesting the distinct possibility that the National Democratic Alliance(NDA) is on its way out of power in the politically important state. As per an overwhelming majority of polls, the Mahagathbandhan may make a clean sweep and its dominance could be near complete if one goes by the maximum number of seats the opposition alliance is projected to win according to some exit polls. While News 18-Today Chanakya exit poll predicts a maximum of 191 seats for the GA, the India Today- Axis polls give the alliance a maximum of 161 seats in the 243-member assembly. Republic TV-Jan Ki Baat exit poll projects a maximum of 138 seats for the GA. The majority mark in the 243-member assembly is 122. The election was fought mostly on local issues but the NDA also played the national card by pressing Modi to campaign for Nitish Kumar who is looking for a fourth innings. Modi campaigned aggressively, attacking Tejashwi and Rahul whom he referred to as double yuvraj(crown prince) who will face the same fate in Bihar as they did in UP. The incumbent NDA government had been impressing upon voters to choose chief minister Nitish Kumar, lest they want a return to the “goonda raj” of the Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal era. However NCRB data showed that total crimes have also been steadily increasing with 189,696 and 236,055 crimes being reported in 2016 and 2017 respectively. In addition, Bihar Police data shows a steady increase since 2001.Thus, nobody was willing to buy the ‘goonda raj’ jingle anymore. The other interesting aspect of Bihar election was that Lok Jan Shakti ‘s young leader Chirag Paswan(son of late Ram Vilas Paswan, who was minister in the NDA) had gone all guns blazing against Nitish. In his campaign speeches Chirag batted for a BJP chief minister minus Nitish, making it clear he would remain with NDA after the polls. The LJP wanted to play safe with the NDA and had hoped to play the kingmaker. This could have been possible only if the NDA, or the GA for that matter, narrowly miss the half-way mark requiring assistance from parties outside the alliance. As per all exit polls, such as the India Today- Axis, Chirag Paswan’s party may have cost the NDA the election in nearly two dozen seats. The LJP had played spoilsport in 2005 assembly elections when it decimated the RJD to pave way for the NDA. The Bihar polls turned into a battle of perception between Nitish versus the rest. Nitish was attacked by the Mahagathbandhan over rising unemployment, proliferation of alcohol despite prohibition and economic stagnation. It was, as per some media, a battle between Nitish versus others. This may have prompted Nitish to belatedly announce that it would be his last election in the state. Perhaps, Nitish was hoping that this would cut ice among the voters and win some sympathy. However, the young voters this time were not interested in the past. They were convinced that Nitish was about the past and had failed while the young Tejashwi spoke their language. If results prove exit poll projections right then it will be a blow for the BJP at the Centre which is eyeing to wrest West Bengal from the Trinamool Congress.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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