When Mandal Commission was set up in India in 1979, it brought caste politics and the issue of reservation to the forefront. This in turn brought a lot of instability in Bihar politics, and the state was in chaos — crime rate was at a peak, the decade was uncertain, we lost coal belts and so many mineral reserves in 2000, and finally, the Jharkhand partition. It was the most dramatic decade in the history of Bihar. Nitish Kumar acting as the Chief Minister for the past 15 years is probably the only stable government Bihar has seen.
Many media house speculate whether caste politics can be annihilated in Bihar. The 2020 Assembly elections is being seen as a referendum on caste-based politics.
This is also the decade in which Bihar is facing infrastructural issues, along with reverse migration during the lockdown period. This migration is mainly due to unfair treatment of Bihar labourers in many parts of the country as well as the lockdown-induced unemployment. This is a turbulent period in the decade, and a landmark period at it.
Campaigning has started and the Election Commission released the measures for the same, ordering more voting stations this time. After this year’s floods in the state and the PM’s call for Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the youth in Bihar is looking at state industries, and many new faces apart from Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav are coming up in politics.
A third front led by Yashwant Sinha is also set to contest for the state Assembly elections. With the current CM ending his term in November, this is going to be an interesting competition. There have been a few state’s initiatives for migrant labours, and the industrial policy is also seeing some amendments. According to some news reports, when migrant labourers returned to Bihar, over 15 lakhs of labour skills were mapped. But unemployment in Bihar has led to reverse or counter-reverse migration, and they are slowly moving back to workplaces.
Bihar’s agrarian economy also underpays its farmers.