Thursday, September 10, 2015
The Bihar Elections: Why the BJP will do well
A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books Bihar, like Tamil Nadu, is a state with clearly defined dominant castes that are concentrated in geographical zones which enables the dominant castes to turn local influence into political power in the form of seats in the Assembly or Lok Sabha. The BJP in the last Lok Sabha polls swept the state gathering all but 4 of the seats. This in effect meant that the traditional caste equations had collapsed and the development wave of Narendar Modi took everything in its wake. Old alliances were swept aside and Laloo Prasad Yadava who tried to send his daughter to the Lok Sabha was completely defeated. Misa Bharathi lost and lost badly and that too in a Yadava dominated area. This time around the BJP, though sure of a victory, is having to fight for every seat. The alliance of SP,RJD and Congress may look formidable but in reality there is little strength for this Alliance. With the SP marching out, the going has gotten tougher for Nithish Kumar and his JD(U). The BJP has stitched up a loose alliance of intermediate castes and influential sections of the Dalit castes particularly the Paswans and the Mahadalits. The inclusion of Manji in the alliance is undoubtedly a masterstroke as it creates a very broad spectrum of support for the BJP which can count on the Brahmins, Rajput and Bhumiar votes to a substantial degree. The BJP Alliance has now gained traction and Modi's announcement of a special package for Bihar has made the BJP more or less secure. The real challenge for the BJP lies in the rural pockets. Nitish Kumar tried to make this electoral battle into a personal fight between him and Modi. This strategy has failed because the alliance with Laloo Prasad Yadava has raised people's fear of the return of the Jungle Raj. Given this state, it is certain that our of 243 seats the BJP will win around 157 seats.