Sunday, November 8, 2015
Bihar and Samose
Jab tak samose mein hai aloo,
Jungle mein hai bhaloo,Bihar mein hai Laloo.
Well, Nitish Kumar, strictly speaking, but there is no denying the role of Laloo in the Mahagathbandhan's thumping victory in the Bihar elections. This was one occasion on which the Mahagathbandhan got everything right, the electoral alliance, the caste politics, Nitish's governance, Laloo's grassroots base and the Congress' achievement in putting everyone together.
The BJP erred in not controlling the RSS demagoguery, aroused fear among Muslims, made ill timed remarks on the abolition of reservations, and missed the fact that the Modi magic had waned, at least at the state level. The results were there for all to see. All but one of the exit polls had indicated the trends clearly, although the one which predicted the thumping victory, attributed it in the wrong direction. The TV channels leaned in the same direction, until the actual numbers started kicking in.
So does this indicate that the Indian electorate has changed its mind? Its hard to say. The jantajanardan has voted in opposite directions in state and central polls, a countless number of times. On the other hand, the ruling dispensation has perhaps received warning that it should not lose its way into delusions of invincibility. Maybe that is a sufficient lesson, for the present.
This blog post is by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.