Ever since the announcement of election dates, the state of Bihar has become the political battle ground. This time the war is between the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Mahagathbandhan’, or grand alliance, of JD(U), RJD and Congress.
However, on the ground level, the fight is actually between Narendra Modi’s development model which focuses on law & order and Nitish Kumar’s model which emphasis on governance. It was left on the people of Bihar, who are voting in five phases from Oct 12 or November 12, to choose either of the paths.
Two phases of polls have already completed. Yesterday, the crucial third phase of the election for 50 assembly seats took place which registered 53.32% voter turnout.
Now, as the battle is halfway with climax scripted for November 8, let’s take a look at the mood of Bihar and the war of Nitish vs Modi.
Mood of Bihar
Interestingly, Bihar elections have traditionally been won on the caste combinations. Political parties have been taking advantage of the situation, playing the ‘caste’ card and sidelining the agenda of development.
However, this time, the electoral narrative of Bihar is seemingly poised for a rewrite. This time ‘agenda’ of development seems to be the main focus of the people, especially youngsters.
While the old model was entirely based on caste and populism, the new model debates the idea of development. As per the poll analysts, the transformation is the result of growing aspirations among people for job creation and much more.
It seems Bihar is emerging from the shadow of caste to walk on the path of development.
Modi vs Nitish
Nitish Kumar’s standing
Bihar has seen a new ray of hope under Nitish Kumar, the leader of Janata Dal (United). He stormed to power in 2004 as the alliance partner of BJP and served the two terms as the Chief Minister of Bihar.
Nitish Kumar’s governance has been welcomed by the people of Bihar as it marked the end of ‘jungle raaj’ under former chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav.
However, Nitish Kumar, owing to conflict with Narendra Modi, parted ways from BJP prior to Lok Sabha elections.. He joined hands with friend-turned-foe-turned-friend Lalu Prasad Yadav (RJD) to contest the elections of 2015.
Narendra Modi’s Agenda
Narendra Modi climbed the stairs to the post of the Prime Minister humming the slogan of ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’. His formula is same for the Bihar elections as well, as he mainly talks in his rallies about Bijli, Sadak and Pani, the BJP’s theme under Atal Bihairi Vajpayee.
PM Modi, like Lok Sabha campaigning, doesn’t forget to lambast at the arch-rivals Nitish and Lalu. Also, he is making the people of Bihar remember about their glorious past and promises new dawn for the state.
The grand alliance has the upper hand if look it from the perspective of the ‘chief ministerial’ candidate. Nitish Kumar, who already served the two terms as CM, is quite a familiar and credible face among the netizens.
However, he couldn’t fulfill many of the promises including providing 15 kg of rice and 10 kg of wheat to poor people, still people have faith in him. Though, ditching BJP and befriending Lalu could go against him.
On the other hand, NDA is playing solely on the image of Narendra Modi with no announcement of perspective candidate beforehand. Though, the formula has gone hit in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand but Bihar is totally different.
Till now, NDA, despite several controversies, has been successful in creating and projecting an image of a stable and progressive government in both India & abroad. PM Narendra Modi is doing back-to-back rallies to cast the vote in his support.
More than half-of Bihar has sealed the fate of NDA and Grand alliance but the final picture will be clear on November 8 when the results will be announced.
30 Oct, 2015