Bihar Legislative Assembly Election Results 2015 and Beyond

By : Dr Kishore Dere

(Supreme Court Advocate,  and Visiting Professor of International Relations and International Law)

Like any free, fair and transparent election, the recently concluded (October-November 2015) Bihar Legislative Assembly elections too have sprung up many a surprise.

First and foremost the self-styled and self – proclaimed as well as professional psychologists have been disappointed. Their methodological approaches and data sampling techniques used in pre-poll surveys and exit polls have been proven to be inadequate to say the least.

Secondly,  the overconfident and talkative members of the National Democratic Alliance have been stunned. (Blame game has already begun in the BJP amidst calls for introspection. ) One must,  however,  credit Prime Minister Narendra Modi for losing no time in congratulating the Bihar CM Nitish Kumar for his fourth successive electoral victory.

Despite the swift congratulatory message from the PM to the triumphant opponent,  and the victory of non-BJP/non-NDA alliance in the polls, the professed critics of BJP continue to aggressively assert that the BJP is progressively ‘Fascist’ and antithetical to democracy.

Thirdly,  it is indeed confounding to say whether economic development or caste-based reservations and extension of those benefits to Muslims and Christians in Bihar were determinants in casting votes by the voters.

Fourthly, just as in the Delhi Legislative Assembly elections of Jan-Feb 2015, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Arvind Kejarival was given an over-whelming majority by the voters, the Rashtriya Janata Dal led by Right Honorable Lalu Prasad Yadav too has been given a pleasant surprise by the mature and shrewd voters of Bihar.

In other words caste,  religion, region and language were the dominant factors in deciding the electoral outcome.

This may seem to be appalling to the votaries of modernity and proponents of classless,  casteless, secular pan-Indian identity and pacifist nationalism.

But in the words of Lord Meghnad Desai, this is actually the ‘subaltern’ politics of India. In fact this can be corroborated by recalling the statement of the Honorable Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar himself who had ‘urged’ voters to prefer the Bihari (native Nitish Kumar) over the Bahari (outsider Narendra Modi).

The voters seem to have this advice seriously.  Otherwise this very leader has been in the forefront of criticizing ‘xenophobic’ politics taken recourse to by some of the political parties in Assam and Maharashtra.  Thus,  it is interesting to see the things coming full circle.

The ironies,  however, do not end here.  Now the leader of the RJD, however, wants to move out of Bihar,  and become a leader by waging a campaign to dislodge the union government led by PM Narendra Modi.

He has promised to initiate this process from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the constituency represented by the PM in the current Lok Sabha.

As always future is pregnant with so many imponderables.  One has to wait and watch with bated breath.  In the meantime life continues to move and we grudgingly come to terms with reality.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Santanu Dey
    Nov 12, 2015 @ 15:59:30

    Regarding the jib of Mr. Kumar for catching votes exhorting people to choose between ‘Bihari’ vs ‘Bahari’, I was wondering what would happen to the lakhs and lakhs of Bihari boys and girls forced to venture outside the state of Bihar for earning their livelihood, which they would likely be needing to continue at least for the next five years now that Bihar has voted for a ‘Kamandalraj’ government, if the people in general in all those places adopt the same attitude calling it ‘Andari’ versus ‘Bihari’? These selfish politicians for the sake of votes don’t ever think of the consequences of such rash statements made by them. I only pray to God that majority of the people of India show more maturity and are more gracious than the going-to-be CM of Bihar.

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