Will Nitish Kumar-led Janta Dal (United) prove his critics wrong by winning the Bihar elections?
Despite his grand alliance called 'Mahagatbandhan' facing a serious setback after the quitting of Mulayam Singh Yadav, it seems the people of Bihar still have much faith in Nitish.
Going by the opinion polls released by the media outlets, Nitish's grand alliance is all set to romp home with comfortable majority in the 243-member state Assembly.
But then, nothing can be said until Bihar has cast its vote for better or worse.
|Jan Adhikar Party||-||-||-|
- BJP + LJP + HAMM + RLSP
The mood of the people may swing to the extremes due to a number of issues (social, economic and political) and political parties are leaving no stone unturned with hectic campaign. Just look at the importance PM Narendra Modi attaches to the Bihar election results. He is visiting Bihar quite often and has announced a fiscal package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore as part of central assistance.
Quick to find fault at this liberal dole from the Centre, Nitish slams Modi for trying to purchase voters with money bags! For BJP clinching Bihar will once again prove that it is the only national party that is fit to rule the country with large number of states under its control. The Congress led by its president Sonia Gandhi and heir apparent Rahul Gandhi is quite content to ride piggyback on Nitish's Mahagatbandhan. While the NDA front led by BJP is facing some hiccups in seat-sharing with Jitan Ram Manji asking for more, it is expected that high command will sort out the issue quickly with the former Bihar CM.
The complex caste arithmetic of Brahmins, Yadavs, Kurmis, Muslims and other backward classes is bound to play a decisive role in the Bihar elections. And it is difficult to predict at this time which way the pendulum will swing. But the ball is now in Election Commission's court to ensure a free and transparent election in Bihar. For in the past, during Lalu Prasad Yadav's reign Bihar is known for poll-rigging and booth capturing in large numbers negating the spirit of democracy.
It is good that the EC has announced a five-phase election starting from 12 October with counting of votes and result declaration on 8 November, 2015. Whoever wins the Bihar elections, the revival of industrial growth and social progress in this once backward state known for its infamous tag 'BIMARU' must not be rolled back. Over to Biharis for a decisive mandate to decide their future!