By Bhanupratap Shukla
The election results of Bihar can be termed in one word as ?expected?. No matter which party forms the government, or even if President'srule were to be imposed, one thing is for certain and that is the people of Bihar, after being relieved of Lalu Prasad Yadav and his histrionic-marked politics, are keen to usher in a new dawn. After leaving Bihar on the brink of virtual collapse due to 15 long years of misrule, this election should have proved a lesson for Lalu Prasad and the RJD. But, forsaking all shame and political ethics, Lalu has again stake his claim to form his government. If anyone despite losing the elections stakes claim to constituting a government, then it clearly reveals that he considers politics no more than his estate and what is most amusing is that the Congress and the Leftists still want to support such brazen behaviour.
Treating its hold over power as its birthright, why will the Congress give permission to introduction of ethics in politics? To magnify their shamelessness, as always, secularism is being made a pawn. For the Congress and its clan, respect to democracy hold no meaning at all. By seizing power overnight in Goa, the thirst for power has already increased in the Congress. As far as it is concerned, the desired numerical strength is no longer necessary. That is why in Bihar and Jharkhand, despite standing on the brim, it is bent upon installing a government to its liking. That too, in spite of being aware that in Bihar, secularism against communalism was not the election issue.
The election in Bihar was fought essentially for enlightenment against darkness, the rule of law against the law of jungle and establishment of peace as against war. What is more, Sonia had frequently raised issues like the deteriorating law and order situation and unemployment during her election speeches. She had even pointed out to the people that after the election, she would take strong action in Bihar to improve the situation. What is beyond one'scomprehension is why leaders who whine in front of the public at the time of election, turn their back upon them as soon as the results of the election arrive!
Each and every party which is a member of the United Progressive Alliance, in its fight against Lalu, seems to be turning its back upon the people. This is as true of the Congress as also of Ram Vilas Paswan'sparty. All of them are being forced to bow down to Lalu in the name of so-called secularism. Efforts are afoot to support Lalu who is even today in a position to proclaim openly that he will select the next Chief Minister. It is an irony of Indian politics that the identity of nationalist parties is shrinking and the role of regional parties is acquiring prominence.
Some regional parties have become so uncontrollable that democracy is getting converted to autocracy. This is cent per cent applicable to Bihar, though the dream of the Congress, or let us say, its politics, imply ruling by riding piggyback on another party. With the announcement of election in Bihar, the Congress had gauged its standing. The Congress'sstrength was made clear by Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan too. Evidently, the Congress had no chance of displaying its strength in the election. That is why it sought the support of cheap politics and allowed the conditions to take such a turn that the verdict of the people on government formation holds no meaning now.
Despite realising that Bihar has completely rejected Lalu, the Congress has expedited its campaign to constitute Lalu'sgovernment but with a tight rein. This has two implications?one, the Congress can, in the name of so-called secularism, place a lid over the rise of BJP and JD (U) and their claim to constitute their government; and secondly, the UPA government at the Centre can rise above pressures from Lalu-type of opportunistic elements. Even if such a situation does not arise, the Congress stands to gain. How? Because Ram Vilas Paswan is all set and ready to become a pawn of Sonia and of the Congress. The imposition of President'srule means establishment of Congress government in the state. Buta Singh will do exactly as Sonia instructs him. Despite suffering a humiliating blow, if any party can indirectly commit the treachery of ruling the government, it is the Congress alone.
It would be no less interesting to see for how long will Lalu continue to remain the pawn of Sonia or the Congress. It is quite likely that his desire to become the champion of secularism my result in him being mortgaged. Why will Sonia not try to emulate the art of controlling the regional parties and extinguishing the fires raging within them as practised by Indira Gandhi? Lalu is trying to put up a brave front despite losing. The excuses that he is putting forth for his loss are comical in themselves. His proclaiming that he lost the seats due to his family members proves that within 15 years, all he did was to nurture ?familism?. Not only ?familism?, but even ?in-lawism?. The path on which he was treading, had he been able to tread longer on it, then the Bihar cabinet would have been nothing more than a ?kitchen cabinet?.
Lalu Prasad considers as the second reason for his loss in the election, the strong stand adopted by the Election Commission. The reason is obvious?this time too, like a wild bull, he wanted to throw fodder at Bihar, that is if anyone tried to stop his men from creating trouble, capturing booth and killing people during the elections then he would have claimed they were deliberately trying to defeat him. What is crystal clear now is the secret behind Lalu'slong tenure in Bihar so far.
Ram Vilas Paswan is called the victor. He wants to wipe out the curse of being labelled a paper tiger. It is justified for him to be on cloud nine after capturing 30 seats in Bihar. He states that poison cannot be consumed in anger. That is, his anger is directed at BJP but he cannot give support to the RJD either. But he wants the venom glands of the Congress to spout at full force. Getting his name entered in the Guinness Book of World Records after securing the maximum number of votes, Paswan is engaged in searching for the democratic path through President'srule. For him, winning 30 seats is equal to placing the entire Bihar'shopes at Sonia'sfeet. Out of the 243 state Assembly seats, no member of the legislature can constitute the government. In Paswan'shands lies the key to democracy, but he wants to lock the democracy in Raj Bhawan with that key. It does not matter if the election was fought on the plank of misrule by Lalu.
It is a strange irony that the oldest seat of civilisation in the world was Vaishali in Bihar. Today an Assembly member from the same Vaishali is bent upon converting democracy into ?comicracy?. The people of Bihar wanted to secure a way out for themselves in this election. The people of Bihar had become tired of endless loot, dacoity, kidnappings and murders; they wanted to establish a civilised government. But alas the politics! The hopes of the people hold no value. Everything is ready to be forsaken for numbers and politics. The state in which the embers of revolution burned with great vigour, in that very state democracy stands impotent. Thus, it is but natural for responsible citizens to feel concerned. Let us see who takes up the task!