How Would a Grand alliance win in Bihar change Indian Politics?
After three phases of polling in Bihar, the Grand Alliance seems to have an
edge over the NDA. The BJP has tried their best to accommodate Paswan and
Nitish’s party for the Lok Sabha elections. At the same time, the Rashtriya
Janta Dal (RJD) leads the grand alliance with parties like the Congress,
Hindustani Awami League (Manji), Vikassheel Insan Party (Mukesh Sahni) and
Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (Upendra Kushwaha).
Political pundits are claiming that the RJD has given more seats to the parties than they deserve and this might be the result of the last election. Nitish Kumar’s Party Janta Dal (United) banded with the RJD in 2015 to fight assembly elections and they also formed the government.
Nitish Kumar has once again decided to form the government with his old partner – the BJP. This time, Nitish has lost credibility even amongst the BJP. He doesn’t seem to be enjoying the same power he once enjoyed. It appears that he has lost the grip he once held over the government as well as the party. Last year, there was a big blow to this government – one was the Srijan scam, Bhagalpur, where JDU claimed that a clean or corruption-free government was at stake.
The second major setback for JDU was the Bihar shelter home scam, in which members of JDU were directly involved. So, in this election, the NDA alliance has to face a double anti-incumbency, one for the state government and the other for the five years of the Modi-led government at the centre. The people of Bihar must remember, how Modi promised central funds in the last assembly election. And what was the result of the demand for the status of a special state? I am not going to bring up other promises that were made by Modi in the last general election.
Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) has promised to support Rahul Gandhi as Prime Ministerial candidate if they are given the chance to form the government. But, the Congress has lost its relevance in Bihar after 1989. There are two main causes for this – Firstly, after the Mandal movement, there was a rise of new a kind of leadership which was more empathetic towards the voices of the marginalized sections of society. And, secondly, the Bhagal Pur riot in Bihar and the demolition of the Babri Masjid, where Muslims largely detached from the Congress are also to blame.
In 1990, Lalu Prasad Yadav became the Chief Minister of Bihar and this was a big shift in the politics of Bihar. Lalu Yadav tried to spread the idea of social justice for the marginalized sections of society and he also ensured the participation of the weaker sections of society in the democratic process. He is also one of the leaders in India who never collaborated with communal forces.
Like Dr. B. R Ambedkar rightly said “Political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy. What does social democracy mean? It means a way of life which recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life” During the Lalu Prasad Yadav’s regime, the media were very hostile towards him and his ideas. More importantly, the media targeted his poor governance.
But, the way Lalu was targeted, it did seem that the media was biased. The BJP also joined hands with one of the leaders from the greater Janta Privar. Nitish Kumar became Chief Minister in 2005 in the name of good governance and development. This was unfortunate for Bihar – during this period Nitish linked with the media to highlight what he will be doing for Bihar. But, everybody already knows the status of education and health in Bihar. There are no teachers in Bihar’s colleges. Not even the examinations are held on time.
In the Legislative Assembly election, in 2015, Lalu Yadav’s RJD and Nitish Kumar’s JDU formed the grand alliance to fight the election. The RJD became the largest party with a total of 81 seats. This was a major gain for the RJD after the 2005 loss in the assembly elections. But, this alliance did not last long as Nitish Kumar dumped the RJD in July 2017, and again went to his old alliance friend, the BJP, to form the government. Tejashwi Yadav was Deputy Chief Minister in Nitish’s Cabinet during that period, and Tesashwi became a popular leader and successor of Lalu Prasad Yadav.
In the 2019 general election, Tejaswhi is one of the star campaigners for the grand alliance and this will be the first time he is leading a party in elections. As per ground reports that are coming from Bihar, the grand alliance is in a good position, in contrast to the last general election. It will not be easy to defeat the BJP led NDA alliance, where Paswan will also play a crucial role. However, this will set the stage for the future of politics in Bihar, because there will be assembly elections in the next year.
If the BJP fails to win even half of the seats that they won in the last general election, then it will be difficult to continue the state government with the JDU. All calculations and caste combinations are in the favour of the RJD winning with the grand alliance. They are hoping to win more than 30 seats. It will be a game changer on the 23rd of may if the grand alliance is able to make this expectation a reality!