Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led alliance of parties scored a stunning victory in the Assembly elections securing a three-fourths majority and decimating the BJP-led NDA.
Bihar has answered on behalf of the millions of Indians who chose the politics of diversity and tolerance over that of sectarianism. NDA received a heavy setback in the Bihar elections gaining only 58 seats despite an aggressive campaign addressing over 30 rallies. It is the second major defeat since the February rout in Delhi for the NDA. The newly formed JD (U)-RJD-Congress alliance secured 178 seats in the 243 member Assembly giving Nitish Kumar a third term in power. The Grand Alliance received the immense support of all communities in all regions of the state with the results having the power to influence not just the politics in Bihar but also at the national platform. The ruling party has thus suffered a shocking blow in both the Assembly elections in the one year of coming to power. The people of Bihar have repeated the blow to the NDA with even more might than it received in the Delhi elections in February. The failure is more severe than is presented by the weak allies in Bihar. It’s because the BJP president Amit Shah who is known as the party’s chief architect had personally weaved the election strategies in the state. He was joined by the Prime Minister who had carried out a vigorous campaign trying his best to tarnish the image of the opponents. The PM contrived many communal ploys including beef politics repeatedly alleging that if that if Nitish Kumar became the Chief Minister he would cut down the share in reservation of the Dalits and other backward classes and give it to a ‘particular community’ . Even though Modi has failed to understand the people, they have fully realized their leader and that is reflected in the Bihar polls.
The poll results are not just a warning to the Prime Minister, BJP and the NDA. The citizens crave for secularism, tolerance and peaceful atmosphere. The people have realized the veracity of ‘Gujarat model’ that is dubbed as development and publicized. The ‘development model’ that misleads the people for power and pander to the corporate interests after achieving power won’t survive longer. The Bihar model proves that India could be retrieved if those upholding secular pro-people politics join together. The foe- turned-allies JD (U) and RJD backed by the Congress decimated the NDA making many realize the possibility of such a coalition in national politics. The victory of regional politics representing multi-cultures over the national politics rooted in a ‘one-culture’, would no doubt reinforce our federal system. The people’s verdict has ruined the calculations of the right-wing extremists of carrying out their agenda by securing majority in the Rajya Sabha as well. This will surely aid in recovering the country’s secularism and rein down the fascist attitude to some extent. Let’s hope that the results in Bihar be a warning for those who murder innocents shouting the rhetoric for cow protection and those in power igniting and encouraging such acts. The people have comprehended the meaningful silence of the PM when attempts to split them along communal lines were made, unleashing attacks on the minorities and creating fear in the minds of people. He has neither done anything to console them nor taken any steps to curb the attacks. The Assembly elections in states needn’t be a testimony for the Prime Minister or his government at the Centre. But it was, in the case of Bihar. And those responsible for this fate are the PM himself and BJP.