Misgovernance is a phenomenon which occurs at various levels. A large number of societal factors are involved in the process. At the top, it results in billions disappearing into the pockets of politicians, bureaucrats and business tycoons. Mid-level, it results in systems of administration, health, education and justice being ropy and patchy. At the ground level, it results in oxygen being unavailable in hospitals or people starving to death even in India’s majestic capital city.
While some are of the view that people in Bihar are tired of the lethargic rule of Nitish Kumar and would like to see a CM from BJP, others say that BJP and JDU would contest the elections together under the leadership of Nitish Kumar.
However, there are growing resentments amongst people against Nitish Kumar. His image of good governance is fading gradually.
Nitish Kumar was voted to power as people believed his false promises, but that may not be repeated. I would not say that all of his promises were false, but the reflection of people’s ideas towards the matter seems so. In people’s words, after the upcoming elections, his misgovernance would end in the state, and it would pave the way for other capable parties.
His party’s anxiety is quite evident from the party’s changed slogan: from “Bihar me bahar hai, Nitish Kumar hai” to “Kyun Karen Vichar, Theek To Hain Nitish Kumar“. The first slogan claimed his invincibility; the current slogan shows he is no longer invincible.
The reason behind his decreasing popularity is the Muzaffarpur case in which several girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused at an NGO-run shelter home, and the issue had come to light following a report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. The apex court came down heavily on the Bihar government for its management of 16 shelter homes in the state. In 2019, 162 deaths of children were reported in Bihar by 2 July due to AES.
Nitish Kumar returned to power in 2015 on the issue of good governance, but his government has come under sharp criticism over the rising crime graph and incidents of mob lynchings in the state. There have been massive floods in many parts of the state. Even the capital was badly affected. When parties boast about Patna being a planned city, the city turning into a dirty sewer shows their failure.
These events have shattered ‘Brand Nitish’, the image of a leader who rescued Bihar from the “dark ages” and provided much needed good governance.
In a democracy, the reward-giver is the common people. Parties coming into power are affected by the work they have done in their previous term/s. No one can escape the circle of reward and punishment. Common people prove to be the final arbiter, and that is the case with Bihar.