Tejasvi has emerged as a leader to be observed deeply
The political scenario of Bihar assembly election is clear now and electioneering is in full swing. It is for the first time that Bihar is facing multi corner fight instead of mostly bipolar election. This time there are four contenders for the Chief Minister’s chair two traditional contenders Nitish Kumar heading NDA comprising of BJP JDU and HAP of Jitin Ram Manjhi and Tejasvi Yadav heading Mahagathbandhan or grand alliance having Congress and three left parties to his side. Another alliance has projected Upendra Kushwaha an ex minister in Modi cabinet It has Majlis Ittehadul Muslemeen (MIM) of Asaduddin Owaisi and BSP at its side.Is is not surprising that MIM is trusting on the leaders like Upendra Kushwaha and Mayavati who are known BJP supporters and may switch to its side in case they get better bargaining position and better offer?Congress perhaps for the first time in last thirty years is contesting its maximum 70 seats in alliance with RJD and left parties. Many smaller outfits are also in fray but most notable development is the emergence of late Ram Vilas paswan’s LSJP who under the leadership of its young president and heir apparent of Late Paswan ji Chiragh Paswan has decided to go it alone in the fray. The most interesting feature of this development is that Chiragh still claims to be a Modi loyalist but has come out of NDA to challenge Nitish Kumar his only target is Nitish and he has fielded his candidates in every constituency being contested by JDU. Earlier he has announced that he will not field any candidate against BJP but later on decided to field five candidates of LSJP against BJP terming it as a friendly fight. Chiragh’s this stand is seen by political observers a BJP ploy to side line Nitish whose utility according to BJP is now in down ward trend. Though BJP is still claiming that only Nitish will be its chief minister even though BJP gets more seats than JDU but everyone knows that in politics such claims and promises have little importance particularly for a party who believes in “end justifies means”.
Bihar politics has always been caste based this time too this is evident if one deeply analyses the way tickets have been distributed. All major players JDU,RJD,Congress and BJP have not only tried to consolidate their traditional vote bank but have also tried to expand their social base by sending a signal to communities outside their respective vote bank.Other parties too have played this card though their support base is limited to their respective areas for example Pappu Yadav had influence in Kosi belt whereas Mr. Asaduddin is focussing on Seemanchal a Muslim domionated belt of Bihar bordering Bengal.
Election campaign is in full swing Prime Minsiter Modi will be addressing 12 public meetings and he will be accompanied by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in every meeting whereas UP Chief Minister and fire brand Hindutva leader Yogi Adityanath will be addressing 18 rallies in Bihar. Though BJP has lost its two most important and oldest ally Shiv Sena and Akali Dal but its historical ally without BJP could not even contest gram sabha election the Muslims and Pakistan have reached Bihar too. Congress candidate and former president of Aligarh Muslim university students union Mashkoor Usmani who is contesting from Jale constituency of Darbhanga district has been brought in focus by BJP saying he has installed a Photo of Mr.Mohammad Ali Jinnah in AMU whereas the fact is that this photo is there since 1938 when Mr. Jinnah had visited the AMU campus. The controversy was raised by ABVP the students wing of BJP when Mashkoor was student union president he was being compelled to remove that photo. In this connection he wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to order removal of Jinnah’s phot from all the places where they are installed and he will remove it from AMU. After few days that controversy died down which has now again been raised by BJP to polarize the voters on communal line. Not only this even union MOS home affairs Mr. Nityanand Rai addressing an election rally warned his audience that if BJP is defeated in Bihar terrorists will come from Kashmir and explode bombs here. Remember how the then BJP president and now union home minister Amit Shah had warned Biharis in previous election that if BJP is defeated here crackers will be bursted in Pakistan or BJP leaders scaring Delhi voters that Shaheen bagh protestors will storm your house and rape your women. This is traditional style of BJP electioneering earlier it was through whispering campaign and rumour mongering now it is open and through electronic and social media.
Bihar is ruled by Nitish Kumar for the last 15 years, earlier it was ruled by Lalu Yadav and his wife for about the similar period. Lalu’s period was when Indian economy was hardly moving at 3-4 % GDP whereas Nitish got the period of economic boom due to liberalization and new economic policy started by Congress government under PV Narsimha Rao as PM and Dr. Manmohan Singh as his finance minister so the economic condition of both periods could not and must not be compared. Since Nitish’s this innings is coming to an end ,his repeated claims of good governance (Sushasan) and development will naturally be scrutinized and questions will be asked particularly on unemployment, migrant workers plight, flood control, Covid 19 fight, health and educations services and farmers distress. A big section of political observers is of the opinion that Nitish’s claims of good governance and development is similar to Modi’s famous Gujarat model that is why Nitish instead of focusing on his achievements in his election speeches is reminding people of thirty years old so called jungle raj of Lalu era. If his ally BJP is scaring people by playing its traditional communal card Nitish too is scaring people by over playing the Sangh coined Jungle raj “jumla’ against his major rival Tejasvi Yadav son of Lalu Prasad Yadav. How a son could be held responsible for the so called misrule of his father is a natural question being asked there.
Tejasvi Yadav is playing his card very wisely and effectively he is a young leader to be observed deeply as he has shown his potential by single handedly taking on both Nitish Kumar and BJP .His style of electioneering assuring his young audience to issue first order of his government about the recruitment of 10 lakh youths in government services is showing good result. His connection with his audience is perfect. If the crowd and its response is any indication Tejasvi seems to have got earlier upper hand in his fight against Nitish but there is a great distance between lips and cups and only time will tell what Biharis are going to decide. But one thing is clear these assembly elections first Jharkhand followed by Bihar and then Bengal will have their impact on national politics.