In politics, two plus two may not result into four. The Lalu-Nitish Mahagathbandhan is experiencing the same in this elections.
one clear message that is coming out of the voting in the first two phases of Assembly elections in Bihar is that conventional caste barriers are breaking away when it comes to voting. ‘Change’ seems to be the catchy phrase which is attracting voters, especially women and youth, that is making this transformation possible. Voting in the first two phases took place on October 12 and 16 in the Naxal affected sensitive areas and in both the phases ‘change’ is the mantra.
Of all the phases, the 2nd phase posed the greatest challenge to security personnel as all six districts—Kaimur, Rohtas, Arwal, Jehanabad, Aurangabad and Gaya—have been affected by Naxal violence one time or the other.
On October 12, first phase of polling underwent peacefully for 49 Assembly segments of 10 districts. On 13,212 polling booths, 57 per cent voters casted their votes after the high voltage campaign, which itself is the record. In 2010, the same areas were recorded with 50.8 per cent voting. Higher percentage of female voters with 59.5 per cent in comparison to 54.5 per cent of male voters was the significant feature of this phase. In Naxal affected areas of Begusarai, Khagadia, Lakhisarai and Munger also came out openly for the democratic right, with womenfolk leading the way. Though they were not ready to come open on their voting preference, development with reference to Jan Dhan Yojana and Insurance schemes were the talking points. The time has gone when they casted vote according to the whims and fancies of their father and husband. Now they know about their rights and come out openly for voting. Under Jan Dhan Yojana many woman opened account and it is like a proud moment for them to have an account. In the ongoing elections, youth and women are going to be a decisive factor. Employment is one of the big issues among the youth.
In politics, two plus two may not result into four. The Lalu-Nitish Mahagathbandhan is experiencing the same in this Bihar election. After fighting the Lok Sabha elections separately and losing badly to BJP-led NDA, Nitish hoped that alliance with Lalu would be formidable to beat the heat. By the time actual elections were announced, SP and NCP left the grand alliance and cracks within the JD (U) were visible. By and large, the feeling is Nitish is going to lose more than to gain. Lalu’s jungle raj and dynastic politics has brought him to the forefront, leaving the Nitish behind in terms of leadership and agenda.
Surveys have predicted a popular edge in favour of NDA. In a survey conducted by ‘PACE’, clear victory has been predicted for the NDA in the Bihar Assembly polls. It says NDA is set to win 127-137 seats in the 243-member house. NDA will receive 37 to 40 per cent votes while Mahagathbandhan will get 33 to 35 per cent votes. At the time of survey, the agency found that the things have gone awry for Nitish because he joined hands with Lalu Prasad Yadav. Lalu has no more influence in Bihar. People think that he is responsible for the worst condition in Bihar.
When RJD was in power, the situation of women was very critical in Bihar. Everybody is aware of Shilpi murder case. Eve-teasing and rape were very common during those days. Nobody can forget Lalu’s 15-year rule in Bihar form 1990 to 2005 that was marked for the poor law and order situation. Sanjeev Kumar in Patna