November 21, 2010

nitish coming back, lalu's lalten dims

The final phase of the long Bihar assembly elections is over. Except for a few incidents, the polling was peaceful and over fifty percent people voted despite threat from the Maoists. A post-poll survey by a leading media group says, Nitish will come back again.

Counting of votes will happen on 24th. Bihar has over 5.5 crore [=55 million] electors and voting occurred for all 243 constituencies in six phases spread over a month. In the outgoing Assembly, the ruling parties JD-U and BJP had 88 and 55 seats; RJD and LJP had 54 and 10 seats; and Congress had nine seats.

 According to Star News survey, Nitish will win thumps down with 170 seats, while an earlier The Week survey had predicted hung assembly [ Nitish alliance: 110-122; Lalu alliance: 77-89; Congress: 23-29]. My personal estimate is that Nitish's combine will win by a comfortable majority. Maybe, Congress wins more than what Star News survey is telling [22 seats] at the cost of Lalu-Paswan.

Post-election analyses will tell who voted en-masse [if at all] for Nitish, why Rahul's magic didn't work there, why people didn't find any light in Lalu-Rabri's lalten [=lantern]. For now, it appears that his clean image, progress in Bihar during his term [though it has been patchy] and his cast equation have resulted in a better vote share for his alliance. But he must now work for upliftment of the entire Bihar, without any cast, communal and regional consideration. He must also rid Bihar politics of nepotism and muscle power.

I am not a JD (U)  fan and do not subscribe to the Kurmi and mahadalit politics of Nitish. However, I would be happy if JD(U)+BJP or Congress come to power. If the survey predictions come true, the state can have a chance to not suffer RJD+LJP and possibly have better days ahead. That is enough to make me happy. For now, only this much and wishing Biharis a post-Chhat good life.

My earlier post on Bihar here.

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