Intro : Prime Minister, Narendra Modi set the tone at Muzaffarpur and Patna rally on July 25, 2015. His speech was seen as the reflection of strategy made at the local level by Bihar BJP leaders. The fight is now against united jungle raj.
It has been a fight against existing regime of the last 20 years in Bihar, sometimes against Jungle Raj and now against United Jungle Raj. In these years, the fight was not pledged for achieving the glory of Bihar which was once essentially the idea of India. No political party is raising the issue of sub-nationalism that has to be in the context of getting pride feel of Bihari identity in tune with modern developmental pace of India. It goes without saying, elections set the agenda but in Bihar, all time, elections interpret or re-interpret the water-tight caste system or declare the victory or defeat of one caste coalition against other such coalition. So, again we have to watch democratic caste coalition race through election, obviously spices are added by the clash of personality. In all these, the agenda of development and reviving Bihari sub-nationalism in the interest of Indian nationalism is going to be arrested. The entire narrative of Bihar Assembly elections 2015, is set to be negative instead of positive.
On July 25, 2015, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi set the tone at Muzaffarpur rally and it was mostly the reflection of strategy made at the local level by Bihar BJP leaders. It became clear in that rally, it has become essential now to attack at personality without disturbing the equilibrium of caste coalition. BJP is facing a problem how to reconcile with social engineering though it got thumping majority in Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand without paying much attention to caste matrix. But in Bihar, is it possible to set the developmental tone of election and get aside all negative overtures, its difficult question now.
One BJP worker from Janipur village of Sitamarhi, Akhilesh Kumar Singh asking media bureau, how BJP can defeat Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav here without adjusting caste equations? He told, “We have Modi factor but we need to learn social engineering”. At Muzaffrapur rally ground, another worker, Ravi Ranjan who has been associated with Membership drive of the BJP in his own district, Sheohar is confident to win the election provided the BJP will give more tickets to his caste.
The political regions are equally important in Bihar to decide the fate of a Party. The voting behaviour of north to Ganga essentially differs from south of Ganga and it is only Ganga, but many times, Koshi, Bagmati and Gandak are also deciding the results of elections. Rice producing Arrah and Litchi producing Muzaffarpur are playing different roles. So, Tirhut, Magadh, Bhojpur, Saran, Bhagalpur, Mithalanchal and Seemanchal are different regions at the political level based on homogeneity vis-à-vis language, caste dominance, agricultural issues, floods, economic developmental level, etc.
In Magadh region, BJP has improved its base in recent areas whereas in Mithalanchal and Saran, RJD still has supports. In Seemanchal, BJP has gone now far ahead but in Bhagalpur and Bhojpur, still it is mixed political level. Likewise all regions will show different political churning; more it will be closer to the election. In 2014 Parliamentary election, all equations were defeated against Modi factor but now this election has to be analysed in accordance with past trends and obviously beyond special case of 2014. If 2014 trend will translate into action again, there must be revolution behind scene at least against social engineering which seems now far distant.
The BJP, allied with Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of Ram Vilas Paswan, Former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustan Awami Morcha -Secular (HAM-Secular) and Rashtriya Loktantrik Samata Party (RLSP) of Upendra Prasad Kushwaha, will fight against JD (U)-RJD-Congress which has internal contradictions but certainly has the possibility of caste combination. BJP or NDA tries to negate this combination but still on the basis on traditional turf.
—Naveen Kumar from Patna
(August 9, 2015, Page: 36-37)