From lining behind the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-led grand alliance, the Bharatiya Janata Party-Janata Dal (United) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is now seen to have increased its pace and is found hovering beyond the halfway mark in Bihar Assembly election 2020.
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), leader Chirag Paswan’s fervent claims that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will be rejected by the people of Bihar and will be driven out of the race for the Chief Ministerial seat seems to be crashing down as NDA is leading with highest numbers, looks like BJP will single-handedly win today’s show.
Mr Paswan had chosen to contest the Bihar election alone, opting out of the NDA, will this be in favour of him or not can only be known once the results come out.
As the counting began for 243 Assembly seats in Bihar on Tuesday, JD(U) leader KC Tyagi said that “Brand Nitish” is still alive. “In the last one year, nothing has harmed brand Nitish or added to brand RJD,” reported new agencies.
Latest trends mark that the BJP won 55 of the 110 seats it contested and its ally the JD(U) won in 33 of the 115 seats it fought.
Back in 2015, BJP had won 53 seats and JD(U) 71. Early trends of the election show a clear win-win situation for BJP.
The doubt that has gripped the minds and hearts of people is the fact that the exit-polls which came out on Saturday gave out a completely different perspective of the results. It predicted a sharp-edged win of RJD-led Mahagathbandhan.
NDA’s ROUTE TO VICTORY
The air of Bihar has hues of saffron-colour on it. During the election campaigns, BJP was seen to have received an underwhelming response throughout public meetings, not as much as it was expected to be. It majorly cashed on matters like ‘Ram Mandir, the 19 lakh job opportunities to be provided by them and the achievements of BJP at the Central were highlighted.
It was also seen that BJP’s strong senior party leaders came forward and addressed the crowd throughout the three phases with full enthusiasm. The BJP-led JD(U) NDA has a track record of Mr Kumar 15 years of hard work too. The voters seemed to be mesmerized by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches and were impressed by Mr Kumar’s attention towards women education.
Making Mr Kumar the face of 2020 Bihar election has gathered many benefits if seen economically, it was his government which was first credited with creating a serious attempt at lifting the state from dire poverty.
Over the past few years, while the state GDP has grown faster in comparison to Bihar’s rate of development previously. Bihar’s economic growth has been impressive under Mr Kumar’s tenure. The average annual growth of Bihar’s economic output was the highest among selected states. Its performance in agriculture was second only to Madhya Pradesh.
According to the economist Swaminathan Aiyar, “the economic turnaround of Bihar has improved law and order situation under Mr Kumar. A look at the National Crime Records Bureau data shows significant reduction in crimes such as dacoity and robbery under Kumar’s tenure.”
One of the most popular schemes Mr Kumar started was giving bicycles to school-going girls. This and several such efforts seem to have paid dividends in the education sector as Bihar recorded the biggest improvement in retention rates among this group of states.
Retention rates are defined as a percentage of students who manage to reach grade V after having enrolled in grade I.
Riding on the popularity of PM Modi-led two successive Lok Sabha majorities, the party could mull charting an independent course or a much trimmed NDA. The party has been able to expand its social base due to PM Modi’s popularity as well as a slew of social welfare programmes.
The culmination of strong BJP ideas and hard work of JD(U) makes it a deep-rooted victorious coalition. Though BJP is holding onto Mr Kumar on the face value but delving into the speeches and the deliberate ignorance of Mr Paswan comments is astonishing as well.
MAHAGATBANDHAN’S UNEXPECTED DOWNFALL
RJD-led Mahagathbandhan was expected to be a breakthrough as it had solemn youth representation by its 31-year-old chief, Tejaswi Yadav, a cricketer turned politician and the youngest son of Lalu Prasad Yadav. There has been a controversy where it was said that the Yadav sons had a tussle on who would take the political legacy of their family.
RJD started with high claims of promises and tried to highlight the negatives of the ruling government. His aura was well-received as seen in the public meetings during the election campaign. The flip side of the coin had the Yadav-Muslim vote bank that RJD majorly relied on.
It had trusted the Upper Castes to be in their favour along with the claims of 10 lakh job opportunities if came in power. RJD’s ally Congress was seen very rarely during the election campaign or at least not as much as PM Modi.
The young leader, Mr Yadav, remained the sole-star during the rallies. The voters seemed to have not overcome RJD’s past, and when asked, they said ‘Jungle Raj’ is not the future of Bihar. The downfall of RJD in this election could be because of biased perspective towards Mr Yadav concerning his father Lalu Prasad Yadav, so much so that even the places with Muslim majority is seen to have not opted for RJD.
Lack of representation by their allies and no efforts shown towards erasing the past prejudice in the minds of people could be counted as the primary defining factor of their defeat in the 2020 Bihar Elections.
LJP’S CONTRIBUTION IN ELECTIONS
The actor turned politician and leader of LJP, Chirag Paswan, son of late Ram Vilas Paswan who was a loyal ally of BJP in the Centre, contested the Bihar election, like a lone wolf and broke off the alliance with NDA as happened in the past. This did result in unique twist and turns in the Bihar elections during the campaign and later too.
It was seen that Mr Paswan’s sole motive was to drive out Mr Kumar and continue to be loyal towards BJP. His party successfully divided votes in many constituencies while securing 3 seats as of now.
As called by one of the BJP leader’s as ‘vote katwa’ he seemed to have managed the same. Mr Paswan’s campaign had no strong ideals set or didn’t call for development and infrastructure; it lacked a systematic framework for the Bihar Elections 2020.
There is a popular saying in Bihar that people in the state do not cast their vote, but vote their caste, this trend has seen to be non-existent as of now. Rather it is on the lines of communalism in many parts of Bihar, and in others the prejudiced thought process has engulfed the minds of the voters.
In every possible way, even if NDA loses at some point, BJP has its victory declared. The workers of BJP and JDU seen to have started to celebrate their victory in front of the Party offices long before the results are announced.