Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Lowest level of political discourse in Bihar elections

The people have witnessed the lowest level of politics by both the contenders of power in Bihar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA is pitted against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance in the ongoing Bihar assembly elections. The fifth and final phase of election comes to an end on Nov.5 and counting of votes will be held on Nov. 8. Both the contenders of power claim of their victory. This Bihar assembly election is the most keenly contested one in the history of independent India. It is the day of result i.e. Nov 8 on which people will come to know who won or who lost. Whichever side wins, the margin of victory will be very thin. There is neck to neck fight between NDA and GA. NDA is led by PM Modi while GA is led by CM Nitish Kumar. PM Narendra Modi himself is the face of NDA while GA has projected CM Nitish Kumar as its face in Bihar assembly elections. PM Modi has been the single star campaigner of NDA. He has broken all previous records of campaigning in assembly elections in a state by any other former PM. He has held more than 40 rallies in the ongoing Bihar assembly elections. His prestige as PM is at stake in this election. As the result of the assembly elections will have far reaching political ramifications both at the Centre and in the state, both sides have put everything at the stake to win. There is do or die situation for both the contenders. Both NDA and GA avowedly say that they are fighting elections on the agenda of development and good governance but neither of them allows the issue of religion, caste and community go untouched. Since 1952 elections, Bihar has always witnessed as caste being the single most important factor in casting of votes. The same situation of caste-wise voting has taken place in this ongoing Bihar election. As the people of Bihar are politically very conscious, it is difficult for any analyst or pollster to make prediction. The ramifications of Bihar assembly election result will put question mark on unquestioned leadership of PM Modi in NDA if it looses. If the GA looses, there will be the end of Lalu’s political career, question mark on Nitish political future and hopeless in Congress with the leadership. The Bihar assembly elections show that the politicians are only interested in power and they have nothing to do with development. It also shows that even the leader of the stature of Prime Minister can go to the lowest level of politics. It is no matter whether it is communal, caste or religious issue, politicians can focus on any of these three issues to garner votes. Grand Alliance under the leadership of CM Nitish Kumar is the conglomeration of secular democratic politics whereas NDA under the leadership of PM Modi represents the right of the Centre. Not even a single day has passed in Bihar poll campaign on which the leaders from both sides have gone all time low. Grand Alliance has edge over NDA certainly in one area. It is the leadership of CM Nitish Kumar, who has been a development-oriented politician and on this count he is unmatched in the state. No political leader across the party line stands up to Kumar in Bihar. It is because of differences within the Bihar BJP that the central leadership did not project any party leader in the state BJP as its chief ministerial candidate. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is himself the sailor of Bihar BJP boat to the shore. Now only three days are left to go when we would come to know who emerged victorious in nation's one of the most keenly contested assembly elections.

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