Post Mortem

Lalu in Bihar

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/13/2020 1:22:53 PM IST

 When it comes to politics in Bihar, there is one popular political slogan of the state’s political legend Lalu Prasad Yadav that always echoes in the minds of every reader and followers of Indian politics – “Jab tak Samosa mein rahega aalu, Bihar mein rahega Lalu (as long as there is potato in Samosa, there will be Lalu in Bihar)”. And if there is one crucial takeaway from the result of the latest assembly election in Bihar then it is that the force and the legacy of Lalu Prasad will not going to end with him but will live on in the state to be carried forward by his son and successor Tejashwi Prasad. With the ailing Bihari legend currently lodged behind the bars after being convicted in a multiple scam denying any opportunity of taking part in the election, the fate of the party in this election was left to his son who had to singlehandedly manage the whole affairs of the election. And with the mighty onslaught from an apparently formidable combined force of BJP and JDU, who are ruling both the center and the state, and their only reliable allies Congress in a virtual political oblivion, this election appears to be a disaster for the Tejashwi Prasad led RJD and walk over for the ruling NDA.

The outcome of the election nevertheless created many surprises so does the energy and enthusiasm with which Tejashwi Prasad carried out his campaign, aginst the BJP-JDU combined which run this election led as usual by none other than the prime minister of the country, throughout the election season had inspired and impressed many political pundits across the country. In the process he also created a new record in the history of Indian electoral politics by addressing 19 public rallies across the state in a single day. This impressive campaign on the part of Tejashwi Prasad and the positive responses from the people of the state conveyed a strong message that no political parties or leaders, no matter how powerful they may be, should take for granted the people of Bihar or for that matter common electorates anywhere in India under any given political circumstances.

The BJP led NDA may have retained power in the state by the barest of the margin, but one must not forget that it is the RJD that emerged as the single largest party in this election. This had followed the same trend of 2015 where the Bihar electorates voted convincingly in favor of RJD and JDU alliance with the former emerging as the single largest party only to be betrayed by the latter at the years following by switching its allegiance to the ruling saffron party. The latest poll performance of the RJD is a remarkable feat considering the enormous political pressure that was weighted against them and that in more than 10 assembly constituencies the winner was determined by less than 1000 votes which make a huge impact in determining the outcome of this tightly contested assembly election. From this election Tejashwi Prasad had cemented his status as the real rising star of Bihar politics, and has the potential of impacting national politics sooner or later. 

One crucial factor that considerably weakened the prospect of the RJD was their alliance with the Congress. Conceding 70 precious assembly seats to the Congress as part of the seat sharing deal proved disastrous for the party as the grand old party of India could returned the favor by managing to win only 19 seats. Had the RJD went to the poll on its own, the outcome would have been a different story considering the lack of popularity and acceptance of the incumbent chief minister and the apparent discontent among the masses over the performance of the saffron party at the center. For Tejashwi Prasad keeping Congress, which is today a party in decline, as their allies in future would be a liability as it was proved on many occasions during the past many years in different states. But for the opposition parties across India, if they ever dream of defeating the BJP then they should give up seeing Congress as the right alternative political platform for achieving their objective, and instead placed their bet in favor of some regional heavyweights, and unite those regional forces which could be the only viable political path towards stopping the saffron party.

As for the ruling BJP, the Bihar election verdict proved that its struggle for reclaiming the confidence of the people continues. Since retaining power at the center in May 2019, the party was never on a smooth ride in the subsequent states elections that followed. Retaining Bihar and performing exceptionally well in the by-polls in 58 assembly seats in different parts of the country including crucial states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Gujarat, the party definitely will read this as an endorsement by the Indian masses of their government of the last one year as well as its performance in handling the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. Nonetheless retaining state like MP which they had wrested from Congress last March through politics of proxy is a reflection of its struggle and inability to win back the confidence of the people and attained power democratically. It’s time the ruling saffron party needs to choose the righteous path as a responsible national political party and derived power from the only legitimate source i.e. the people, like the one in 2014 and 2019 where they were democratically elected by the people to rule India, instead of encouraging and entertaining defectors from the opposition parties to form government.

The emergence of Tejashwi Prasad in India’s political scene had rest assured that Lalu Prasad and his influence will remain in Bihar, and no forces will able to write him off politically. Even in his absence, if the RJD can gives such an impressive fight, we can’t help but keep wishing how interesting and entertaining it would be had this election be contested/conducted with him at the center stage, and this also make him as among the most missed political personalities in today’s India. And if his opponents were to put an end to his force in the state then the only possible means could be to exploit their powers to ensure that the Samosa product should no longer contain aalu!

Dr. Nsungbemo Ezung

Wokha Town

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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