Nitish Kumar, the re-elected chief minister of Bihar cannot really rest or cool on his heels any longer, as a result of ‘feel good’ euphoria caused by his winning the recent state assembly elections. He has won the political mandate largely based on all the developmental work done by his coalition BJP-JD(U) combine in their first term. But, now the expectations from the voters have risen and they expect results quicker!
The recent broad ‘daylight’ chilling ‘stabbing’ murder of Raj Kishore Keshari, BJP MLA, at the hands of Ms Rupam Pathak, allegedly raped by Raj Kishore Kesari and his cronies for three years – proves that there is a lot more to be done to restore complete law and order in a state that was reeling under ‘Jungle Raj’ of the charismatic Lalu Prasad Yadav. No doubt, Bihar has really developed signified by its double digit growth figure, under Nitish Kumar’s leadership and superior governance!
But, Bihar remains to be one of India’s most backward, poor, violent, caste-driven states. Its social and economic indicators – household income, literacy, life expectancy, child and maternal mortality – are comparable to Sub-Saharan African countries. The effects of 1990-2005 period of Jungle Raj as well as the poor governance of Lalu Prasad has not really worn off. During the long period of 15 years, Bihar turned out to be a failed state with ‘absolute’ break down of ‘law and order system’ that was controlled by criminals with castes pitted against each other. All this has changed under Nitish’s rule. The most encouraging feature of the recent elections in Bihar is – total rejection of dynastic politics – failure of Rahul Gandhi’s magic in Bihar that worked well in Uttar Pradesh and Lalu/ Rabri getting booted out!
Bihar remains to be a ‘low hanging’ fruit that needs to be plucked by courageous (‘daring’), imaginative and development-focused political leaders of the state. Congress should not give up now but must gear up to make it a better state – by its large organizational strength and ‘innovative’ poll strategy. States like Bihar, Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and several others in the North Eastern India are promising state ventures seeking political wisdom and committed leaders. Nitish has done a good job in his first term – investing heavily on infrastructure, roadways, public hospitals, food distribution system, women have been empowered by his government and corruption has been corrected to a great extent!
As mentioned in Robert Frost’s poem ” Miles to go before I sleep..”, Nitish cannot really rest now!! He has promises to keep…