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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 49, New Delhi, November 21, 2020

2020 Bihar Assembly Elections: NDA Managed Power | Ravindra Sharma

RJD performed well; congress humbled, communist gained Bihar urges for land reform, industrialization, women empowerment and secular culture

Saturday 21 November 2020, by Ravindra Sharma

Background

Retrospectively, in 2015, The RJD and JDU had developed tacit understanding to defeat the BJP and subsequently formed the government making Nitish Kumar (JDU) as Chief Minister and Tajashwi Yadav (RJD) the Deputy Chief Minister. Ram Vilas Paswan’s (LJSP) was part of NDA and worn on only two seats. The CPIML won three seats in Siwan, Bhojpur and Katihar Districts. The ignominious defeat of the BJP in 2015 election, hurt the BJP’s stalwarts and the RSS, both hatched the conspiracy against the backward forces. In 2017, Modi whispered with Nitish. A cunning and chequered politician Nitish parted away from the RJD, Lalu was sent to jail under the charges of corruption, paving the way for Sushil Modi (BJP) to become Deputy Chief Minister. The Melodrama of bourgeois politics was not over yet. Since 2015 to 2020 Nitish and Sushil Modi ruled over Bihar with the guidance of Narendra Modi and Amit Shaha. Nitish’s act of joining the BJP for sheer power tarnished his secular image-making 17 per cent Muslims in secured particularly in the post CAA phase. Throughout the five years, Dalits, Liberals and secular forces of Bihar maintained a distance from the JDU and the BJP. In the last five years, crime corruption unemployment increased rapidly in Bihar as result Nitish’s popularity waned and faded day by day. One must point out that while the RJD was in power from 1990 to 2005 (Fifteen years) the JDU enjoyed power from 2005 to 2020 (15 Years).

Election Commission of India’s (ECI) Guideline to curve the impact of covid 19
To begin with, on 25th September (Friday) the Election Commission of India Mr Sunil Arora announced that the election of Bihar (2020) for 243 seats with 7.29 crore electors will be held in three phase’s First on 28th October Second on 3rd November and Third, on 7th November. Withdrawal of candidates will be allowed until October 19 and the results will be declared on 10th November. Officially, keeping in view the outbreak of covid 19 (Pandemic) The ECI made the arrangements of Seven Lacs hand sanitizers, 46Lakhs masks, 6Lakhs PPE Kits, 7Lakhs face shield and 23Lakhs hand gloves; covering mouth with the masks and social distancing was made mandatory by the ECI. Alas, the Bihar election was held amid the uproar of peasants against the the three farmer’s bills and the tears of Hathras gang raped family. Thanks to Indian Democracy.

Current Scenario

To return, with the announcement of Bihar Elections, Hobnobbing, bickering and bargaining for seats, the process of forming alliances and counter alliances, allegation and counter-allegations began to creep and spread. The BJP and JDU organized several meetings for deciding seats. The RJD ( Yadav and Muslims) revived mahagathbandhan with the congress and communists Jeetan Ram Majhi (HIM) ex Chief Minister left Mahagathbandhan and joined the NDA. Rastriya Loktantrik Party led by Upendra Kushwaha refused to accept the leadership of Tajashwi Yadav former MP Rajesh Ranjan’s Jan Adhikar Party Lokatantrik (JAPL) protested against the agricultural bills to attracts peasants. On 3rd October (Nishad based) Vikassheel Insane Party (VIP) Chief Mukesh Sahani walked out of a press conference accusing the RJD Leader he alleged Tajashwi Yadav by saying he was backstabbed. Prakash Ambedkar bulldozed the BJP in strongest words saying that the BJP is against reservation and undermining the ‘’secular character’’ of Indian Constitution. Interestingly, NCPS’s prafull patel too expressed desire to contest election to defeat the BJP. The BJP expelled its nine rebelled candidates Sonia Gandhi issued a statement saying ‘’choose wisely’’. Lalu tweeted ‘‘uttro bihari, karo tayari Janta Shashan ab ki baari’’Nitish raised the slogan of 15th Years (Lalu Raj) vs 15th years of Nitish Raj Majhi echoed Nitish. Communist addressed public meetings with the slogan of communal fascism down down, Modi’s tout shame shame. Alas Kashmir also figured in the Bihar election. A BJP Minister said, If Mahagatbandhan wins, the Kashmiri terrorists will be sheltered. On 8th October, RLSP BSP and AIMIM announced the formation of Grant democratic alliance the declaring Upendra Kushwaha as its Chief Minister candidate the BJP also declared Nitish Kumar as the undisputed candidate of the NDA. The BJP also announced 30th-star campaigners that included Mr. Modi, Yogi and JP Nadda. On 11th October Congress constituted fourteen members coordination’s committee with General secretary Randeep Suljhewala as the Chairperson of the election coordination committee which included Tarik Anwar, Shatrughan Sinha, Meera Kumar, Kirti Azad, Shakeel Ahmad and Sanjay Nirupam. On 16th October Mahagathbandhan released (Sankalp part) accusing Nitish of not demanding “a special status” for Bihar from the central Government.

Interestingly, Chirag Paswan S/o Ram Vilas Paswan, a leader of LJP only (two MLA’s) maid the election very interesting. His decision 2 contest election independently astonished Bihar’s Political parties; however, he subsequently cleared his position by declaring that he will feel not field the candidate against the BJP but certainly against the JDU. On 17th October Chirag in an interview (Indian Express) said it was time to leave cast politics poverty is the only cast. Praising Modi, He said I am “Hanuman” of Modi. Politically knowing that in the last five years, JDU Chief popularity waned, the BJP probably instigated Chirag to cut the size of Nitish. JDU Chief remained disturbed throughout the election. As the election geared up, the dispute also erupted between the BJP and the LJP. As the politics of South Asia is a victim of cheap popularity, the RJD led opposition released election Manifesto promising 10 lacs permanent jobs, loan waivers, equal pay for equal work to contract teachers, increments honorarium for Jeevika workers MEGNERGA work for two hundred days. On the hole, Twenty Five promises were made. The RJD leader also promised that if “voted to powered” the three anti farmers laws will be scrapped.

Eventually, on the eve of election 3 to 4 alliances emerged First, BJP plus JDU plus VIP plus HIM; Second RJD plus Congress plus Communist; Third, RSLP plus BSP plus AIMIM. Prakash Ambedkar’s VBA and Chirag Paswan; LJP and Sharad Pawar’s NCP contested election. independently Rahul Gandhi and Tejasvi Yadav developed a mature understanding on several issues including sharing seats. Factually Mahagatbandhan took the lead to defeat NDA but in vain. Amid the election, a former Minister of Atal Government printed an article criticizing the Modi Economics telling the people are undergoing untold misery and suffering for the follies of Modi Government. On 13th Oct2020 Indian Express significantly while in 2015 election Modi has bulldozed Nitesh, in 2020, Modi shared dies with Nitish. On 24th October Modi addressed three rallies, Sasa Ram Gaya and Bhagalpur of Bihar. On the same day Rahul Gandhi also addressed public meeting in Navada and Bhagalpur. Modi also invoked the construction of Ram Temple in his speeches. On the contrary RJD led alliance on concentrated the pathetic situation of Bihar in Nitish’s tenure. Interestingly, the recent clash between Indian and China (Galwan) also figured in the Bihar election. While RJD alliance promised 10 Lac jobs for youth. The BJP in his Manifesto 19 lacs job and free vaccine of covid19 for every family. Kanahiya Kumar, a former Leader of JNU(CPI) also campaigned for communist candidates.

Caste ridden Bihar

To cut the story short, sociologically, caste ridden Bihar is still in the grip of forward vs backward vs Dalit. In the ’50s and early ’60s, Bihar was ruled over by the combine of forwards plus Dalits and Muslims (Congress). Congress used Jagjeevan Ram to garner vote and enlist the support of Dalits. Muslims were the natural ally of the congress in Nehru and Indra era however under the influence of socialists (Dr Lohiya) the forwards of Bihar began to loose its feudal glory, and subsequently backwards began to snatch power from feudal forwards. In this regards a dedicated simple and honest Karpoori Thakur took the lead. In 70’s Chaudhary Charan Singh also politically enlightened the “backwards” of North India including Bihar. The JP movement in 1974 also encouraged backward youths of Bihar to fight against corruption. With the implementation of Mandal commission report ( In VP Singh tenure) backward leadership began to shine. Harshly, under the leadership of backward, Bihar remained backward. Interestingly, in Bihar Politics while Lalu survived with the support of Congress, Nitish managed the show with the help of the BJP. Objectively Bihar produced four or five brilliant backward leaders.

First - Kapori Thakur, Second – Lalu Prasad Yadav, Third - Raghuvansh Prasad (Recently passed away), Fourth - Nitish Kumar. Alas, none shook hands with the feudal forwards except Nitish.

As regards the Dalit Politics, a champion of Dalit cause Mr Ram Vilas Paswan (Recently Passed away) enjoyed enormous power with Six or Seven Central Governments from Janta Dal to NDA) however, the atrocities on Dalits continued. Jeetan Ram Majhi was always at bay in Bihar’s politics. A few words for communists despite the enormous scarifies and dedication communist in Bihar failed to introduce the idea of class struggle in caste ridden society however the radical struggle for land, and militants agitations for workers communist in Bihar expended social base among the EBC, OBC, Muslims Mahadalits and poor

To return, in the post-Babri demolition era, the BJP failed to make inroads in Bihar; however, with the help of Nitish Kumar, the BJP succeeded in reaching out Bihar. I am sure that the future historians will write that Nitish opened the gates for communal fascists to enter.

Media and the Bhojpuri culture

As regards the media (print as well as visual) it carried a lively debate on TV enriching the knowledge of viewers. Interestingly, the three anchors of Aaj tak, while communicating in Bhojpuri language drew the attention of viewers and listeners. NDTV was equally informative. Two newspapers (English) The Hindu and the Indian express regularly printed, News analysis and articles on Bihar’s politics society and the election of 2020. During the election, the leaders of every party addressed public meetings in Bhojpuri language. Bhojpuri culture influenced the election. Bhojpuri songs were sung. Bhojpuri (asmita) was used to garner vote and support.

Ills of Indian democracy

Sadly the Indian democracy still suffers from several ills such as Dynasty, manipulation, overspending, booth capturing use of muscles power, use of religion and caste, and the entry of criminals etc. An organization of Democratic Reforms (ADR) found that 23% of the candidates fielded it by several parties (in the first phase) face serious criminal charges including murder, attempts to murder and rape (22nd October Indian express) the ADR also provided the list of criminals candidates. RJD (22), LJP (20), BJP(13), JDU(10), and Congress(9). Significantly the three dynasties turn Young Turk such as Rahul Tejaswi and Chirag Paswan took serious interests in 2020 election Shatrughan Sinha’s (Film Actor) son Love Sinha Congress Sharad Yadav’s daughter (a prominent backward leader) also contested election. Lalu’s elder son Tez Pratap was also in the fray (Mahua). Satyprakash S/o Late Raghuvansh Prasad joined the JDU amid the election.

Conclusion

Pathetically, for the liberals, leftists and Gandhians, The conclusion of Bihar election (2020) is very shocking, disappointing and frustrating. The JDU chief Nitish Kumar in near future may take the oath as Chief Minister of Bihar with the help of communal fascist, defeating liberals minorities and progressive forces. However in the democratic structure, one must accept the verdict willy – nilly as mentioned he open the gates for communal fascists and they helped him in enjoying power further. Significantly, two smaller parties VIP (Four and HIM Four helped the NDA in increasing the tally of the NDA. On the contrary, the RJD performed well (75, Congress was humbled 19. However, the communist gained (16) particularly the Cpiml 12. Astonishingly, AIMIM won (5) seats in Seemanchal. Chirag Paswan’s LJP lost miserably. However, the BJP strategy to use Chirag Paswan to cut to size Nitish worked well. JDU was reduced to 43. The West Bengal is the next agenda of communal fascists the (BJP) communal monger has already visited the Bankura District of West Bengal and performed pooja at several temples including Birsa Munda. The CPM’s Polit bureau already cleared the alliance with the Congress and other secular and democratic forces. In April 2021 The West Bengal will be witnessing a clear cut triangular electoral struggle between TMC versus BJP and Left.

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