Bihar Assembly Elections 2010: Nitish”s Development Card or Laloo”s Caste fixture?

Posted on September 12, 2010 in Politics

By Chandeep Arora:

Despite of the fact that most of the IITians and IAS officers belong to Bihar, it has been one of the poorest and most backward states of India. The inference is quite straight; Bihar does have the right amount of talent but not the right amount of resources. The state also did not perform well under Laloo’s (Rashtriya Janata Dal) reign and he was mostly entwined in the corruption and fodder scam cases. But the state of affairs changed when Nitish Kumar (Janata Dal) came to power. He has said to have done a great deal of work towards the upliftment of the state and people say that his work has brought development. It would be interesting to see whether the “aam janta” supports Nitish’s “good work” or Laloo’s “caste politics” in the Assembly elections to be held on 21st Oct 2010.

The Chief Election Commissioner of India, SY Qureshi has announced the schedule of voting for the 243-member Bihar state Assembly. The First Phase Assembly election will be held on 21st October for the 47 assembly constituencies. The second-phase polling will be conducted on October 24 for 45 seats. The third and fourth phase voting will be held on October 28 and November 1 respectively. The number of constituencies to undergo polls in the third and fourth phase is 48 and 42 respectively. Proper EVM’s are to be established for smooth and fair elections. Over 5, 50, 88,402 electors are eligible to exercise their franchise through 56,943 polling stations. To condemn any kind of violence during the voting, CRPF personnel’s and state armed police force will be deployed at the booth stations. As said by SY Qureshi, adequate number of observers as well as micro observers will also be set out. The people will be provided with the phone numbers of the same for reporting any kind of grievances during the poll.

The Lakhisarai hostage crisis has no doubt brought embarrassment to JDU before the polls. Smartly but tactfully, Nitish Kumar soon thanked all the political parties for their effort for peaceful talks with the Maoists. Furthermore, he also told the Maoists to eschew violence and take part in the election polling. But the work done by him for the development of Bihar cannot be overlooked. During his 57 month Tenure, he has approved an Rs 815 crore ambitious project for Mahadalits (a separate category for 18 sub-castes of dalits). The steps taken for empowerment of extremely backward castes, Mahadalits and minorities are praiseworthy. Today, the streets of Bihar resemble grace as opposed to the dilapidated bridges and decrepit highways few years back. A media that writes good things about Nitish has helped him a lot. But Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan are not meant to be mere viewers. They would be working out their caste arithmetic with the Yadavs, Muslims, Dalits and the backward sections. They have been constantly trying to find the loopholes in Nitish’s toil. They have especially targeted the backward classes saying that they have got no special benefits under JDU rule.

In the end, whatever is the case or whoever wins, we the “aam janta” are at the receiving end. It’s our decision that matters the most. That decision has to be unbiased and the choice should be on the previous achievements of the respective parties; not on “caste” or “creed”. So, just think before you vote to enjoy the fruits of “democracy”.

With inputs from:

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