The Election Commission has announced the elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly in six phases — on October 21, 24, 28, November 1, 9 and 20. Votes will be counted on November 24.
Just recently, the Ayodhya Verdict was out! Bihar goes to polls at an interesting time and it is to be seen whether the Ayodhya verdict will be used to woo the ‘identity’ votes. Nitish Kumar, chief minister of Bihar, has carefully strategy to focus on governance related issues and not towards identity, caste or communal mobilisation. He has to be pro active and carefully watch and decide what will be his election campaign. Lalu Prasad Yadav (Rashtriya Janata Dal) and Ram Vilas Paswan (Lok Janshakti party) are electorally combined to contest the JD(U)-BJP combine ( Nitish Kumar). If the issue becomes communal polarisation – then Nitish’s development work done could go for a toss!
The fight of governance vs identity will decide the electoral outcome; and surely, Lalu Prasad Yadav & Ram Vilas Paswan are better positioned when it comes to politics other than governance related. But, Nitish has a point – he has turned around the Bihar’s economy remarkably during his chief minister-ship, and he is appealing to the Bihar electorate to focus on development of the state. Industries in Bihar are in praise of Nitish for business connectivity and better law and order situation leading to creation of more jobs within the state. Though, the delivery of public goods and services are lacking in the state.
I hope that during this assembly elections, development of the state takes precedence and the situation does not regress to old slogans!