What will be the issue of Bihar assembly election
Bihar assembly elections schedule of which has been announced by the Election Commission are going to be held under the shadow of two major decisions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi first lockdown and second new farming act. Since BJP is the partner in outgoing Nitish government and election is going to be fought not only on the performance of Nitish government but on the so called popularity of Narendra Modi also so this assembly election is going to be almost a referendum on these two major decisions of Modi government. Since lockdown has badly shattered the labour class of this country and the exodus of labours was mostly of Bihari labours they were actually the worst sufferer of this sudden lockdown secondly Bihar too is an agrarian state the new farming act is also going to affect the Bihari farmers .Will the Biharis vote keeping in mind these two major important factors or as usual they will vote mostly on caste and communal lines remains to be seen.
Though there are two major players in forthcoming election the NDA lead by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who is contesting to become fourth time Chief Minister and the Mahagathbandhan lead by RJD .Though RJD is clear and almost uncompromising in projecting its president Tejasvi Yadav as Chief Minister face but other Bihar based parties are not agreeing with it. Jitan Ram Manjhi and Upendra Kushawaha have already left the Mahagathbandhan on this issue and Congress too is yet not clear on the candidature of Tejasvi Yadav. Both Jitan Ram Manjhi and Upendra Kushwaha have shown that like other regional leaders their commitment to secular democratic values is only a lip service and political expediency guides their political strategies. Not only these two leaders but many other leaders and parties too are flexing muscle in the ring like AIMIM of Asaduddin Owaisi which is concentrating at Seemanchal region of Bihar which is Muslim dominated belt of the state and Pappu Yadav of JAP who is concentrating in Kosi Belt dominated by Yadavas, the strategy of these parties seems to disturb the time tested Muslim Yadav combination of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD. Though in the last parliamentary and assembly election both AIMIM and JAP have failed to show any effective performance they not only failed to win any seat but their vote share too was very poor AIMIM got only 0.2 % votes and Pappu Yadav’s party got 1.4% votes but Majlis has continued to work in the area and this time it may perform better it has aligned with another Yadav party thus trying to shift MY combination towards it but this seems to be a far of dream but it will harm the RJD Congress alliance is forgone conclusion. Former union minister Yashwant Sinha has formed his own political group by bringing together 16 smaller parties and is naming it as third force but to what extent it is going to attract the voters remains to be seen. Mr Yashwant Sinha is no doubt a senior leader and has left BJP only after emergence of Narendra Modi to whom he has supported in party till last but he has never been a mass leader and has never been seen as a chief ministerial material. If RJD lead Mhagathbandhan is facing the exodus of Jitan Ram Manjhi and Upendra Kushwaha NDA too is facing the exodus of Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok jan Shakti party (LJP)and there is no denying the fact that among all the smaller Bihar based parties LJP is strongest having about 7% solid vote bank. If Paswan joins hand with Tejasvi Yadav it will be a great boost to him but he is most unpredictable politician whom Lalu Yadav has once termed as the biggest “mosam vaigyanik” of politics he always sees which side of bread is more buttered and shifts loyalty accordingly. Three left parties CPI, CPI(M) and CPI(ML) have this time aligned with RJD among them CPI(M) and CPI(ML) have their pocket of influence and together they may garner 4-5% votes. Congress has to remain content as junior partner of RJD but the problem as told by many state Congress leader is that Tejasvi is not giving that important and respect to Congress leaders as Lalu Yadav used to give this had annoyed state Congress leadership and a section of Congress eadership in the state follows the line that question of Chief Minister must be decided after “Mahagathbandhan” gets majority while another sections says that keeping in mind the greater interest of defeating Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar duo we should accept the leadership of Tejasvi Yadav who has actually been the only face of opposition since Nitish deceived and joined hands with BJP. It is almost sure that Congress will accept the leadership of Tejasvi Yadav and will not object in projecting him as CM face. This time Congres has been demanding 90 seats out of 243 but according to informations has agreed to contest 70 seats.
Bihar assembly elections are going to be held at a very crucial juncture. The nation is facing all types of problems top among them is unemployment, falling GDP, Covid pandemic, farmers distress, unsafe borders particularly border skirmishes with Nepal touching Bihar border but as a master strategist Narendra Modi is expert in changing the political narratives from real issues affecting public life to emotional issues so the fight is going to be between real issues of unemployment death of migrant labours farming act and the emotional issue . Already a well planned emotional issue is the death ( Suicide or murder) of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.