Bihar is a region fraught with problems. The state deals with everything from Maoists, to developmental issues, and a recent rise in criminal activities.
This state of affairs is evidenced by the fact that around a dozen villages have completely boycotted the ongoing polls—their reason being the total lack of development in their areas. A large portion of the state’s youth consistently leave for greener pastures to make a living and support their families.
The dearth of electricity in large portions of the state is another major issue. This is compounded by widespread illiteracy, which has been holding the state back. The education system here is in dire need of immediate reform. Regardless of the Bihar election result, the next ruling party or alliance has their work cut out for them.
This post examines the current political situation through the lens of the common man.
For more in-depth coverage, head to DainikBhaskar like we do.
The Prime Contenders
Let’s take a look at the major players in the Bihar election 2015:
The Grand Alliance, which is made up of the JD(U), RJD, and the Indian National Congress is going head-to-head with the NDA, which is led by the BJP.
The JD(U) is the current ruling party in the state, and has brought about a measure of positive change in the state during its tenure. This includes a crackdown on crime and corruption. A drive to seize assets from corrupt officials was a result of this initiative.
The BJP is hoping to sway voters in its favour using PM Narendra Modi’s push for economic development. At a rally in Gopalganj, Modi laid out his proposals for Bihar’s improvement: education, employment through electricity generation, and medical facilities for the elderly.
So far, opinion polls have shown a neck-to-neck race between the Grand Alliance and the NDA. Caste problems and development issues weigh heavily on voters minds, and religion also plays a major role in this region.
Nitish Kumar might have misstepped by teaming up with Lalu Prasad, whose involvement in the infamous fodder scam has caused him to fall out of favour with a significant section of the vote bank.
The recently concluded phase 3 of the polling saw a poor turnout overall, with around 53% of voters showing up to cast their vote.
Women voters have turned out in larger numbers than expected, and it’s anyone’s guess which way their vote will go. This added element of unpredictability makes it even harder to call the results one way or another.
The campaigning phase was bitter, with accusations flying from both sides, and everyone looking to cash in on the caste vote. Bihar is a state divided along strongly-drawn caste lines, and the campaigning has reflected this.
The Grand Alliance is almost guaranteed the support of the Yadavs and Kurmis, while the NDA and the BJP have a strong base to rely on in the Rajput, Brahmin, Kayastha, and Bhumihar population. It remains to be seen what impact this is going to have on the race to the finish.
Caste may well decide which direction this Bihar election goes, but we can only hope that whatever the result, Bihar’s common man will see a change in his circumstances.
While we wait for the votes to be tallied, we are clued into DainikBhaskar for the latest ongoings in the Bihar elections.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.