This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Biranchi Narayan Acharya. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Opinion: “I Won’t Be Surprised If Nitish Kumar Loses The Bihar Assembly Elections”

More from Biranchi Narayan Acharya

There are no opinion polls on the upcoming Bihar elections yet except one. Thus, it’s really difficult to predict who will be the winner. Nitish Kumar is undoubtedly facing huge anti-incumbency. 15 years of rule is always susceptible to anti-incumbency. On the other hand, in the absence of Lalu Yadav, RJD doesn’t come across as a strong alternative. Tejaswi Yadav, although a young leader endorsed by UPA as a CM candidate, lacks the personality that can mobilise voters. I am of the opinion that the Muslim-Yadav combination is no more visible because many Yadav voters have already sided with BJP. Some Muslim voters are with AIMIM (All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen).

Despite the pandemic, Narendra Modi commands very high popularity. But then Bihar is among those states which vote differently for Parliamentary elections and assembly elections. The issue is with LJP (Lok Janshakti Party) which is bent on damaging JDU’s prospect while claiming that it’s with Narendra Modi. Many perhaps think that BJP is behind LJP’s rebellion. But whoever is acquainted with Bihar politics very well knows why LJP is against Nitish Kumar.

Since 2000, Nitish Kumar broke LJP multiple times. LJP joined NDA in 2014 when Nitish dumped BJP. After its success in the 2014 general election, LJP started rebuilding its party. But then Nitish Kumar joined BJP again to form the government where Nitish Kumar simply rejected the LJP and didn’t even give any ministry berth to LJP.

nitish kumar and chirag paswan

LJP knows that Nitish Kumar is bent on eliminating  LJP from Bihar polity. BJP has the compulsion to ally with Nitish Kumar because it doesn’t have a credible CM candidate in Bihar especially in the presence of Sushil Modi. That’s why LJP remained ally with BJP at the centre and even claims to be an ally of BJP in Bihar but contest with JDU only. After the demise of Ram Vilas Paswan, the sympathy votes of at least the Paswan community will be with LJP thus set to damage JDU seriously. Thus, there are a lot of contradictions and uncertainness. In such a complicated scenario, I am trying to do an objective analysis as to what is going to happen in the coming election.

Let’s Start With Knowing The Core Vote Banks Of Major Political Parties

BJP’s core vote share is 24.69% (9308015 votes out of total votes of 37696978). The test case is the 2015 assembly election where BJP contested the election without JDU.

LJP’s vote share is technically 6.75% as the test case would be the 2010 assembly election where it contested alone. For JDU, the test case would be the 2014 general election which it contested alone and its core voter base was 15.40%. To understand the voter base of RJD and Congress, we need to look at the 2009 general election where RJD and Congress contested separately. Thus, RJD’s core vote share is 19.3% and Congress’s vote share is 10.3%.

With the above figures, let us try to find out NDA and UPA’s vote share. BJP and JDU’s combined core voter base is (24.69+15.40) 40.09 and another 3% can be added for the smaller parties like VIP and HAM so it has around 43% base votes. On the other hand, RJD and Congress had a base vote share of (19.3+10.3) 29.6%. Let’s add another 5% for smaller parties including the left parties. Thus, its base vote share amounts to 34.6%.

If you see the equation, then BJP and JDU look formidable to retain power. But then there’s the LJP factor in there. If the LJP vote base in JDU seats started voting selectively for UPA just to teach a lesson to Nitish Kumar, then NDA will lose around 6-7% vote share. As this deduction will be only in JDU contested areas, JDU will suffer a serious setback.

Most of the time, around 15% of floating votes which have no loyalty to any party, sometimes become very effective during anti-incumbency. They may wish Nitish Kumar to be the CM but will decide to reject the JDU MLA contesting the election. If such things happen, opponents, despite lack of credibility, many a time, get surprise victories. The recent Chhattisgarh and Tripura assembly election result prove this.

Thus, after a very careful observation of all data and facts, I feel (although I might be horribly wrong especially in the absence of any opinion poll), Nitish Kumar is going to lose the election. BJP could be the largest party but BJP and JDU combined may not get the majority. There could be many independent MLAs and if luck favours him, then Tejaswi Yadav could be the next CM of Bihar.

However, there is one caveat. The Narendra Modi factor can’t be overruled. He may able to get Nitish Kumar to retain power. But as I said, Bihar is politically very smart and votes differently in state and central election. I think that it would be very difficult even for Narendra Modi to make NDA sail beyond the halfway mark.

In politics, nothing is impossible and no analysis is ever perfect. But then I won’t be surprised if Bihar gets a CM who’s not Nitish Kumar.

You must be to comment.

More from Biranchi Narayan Acharya

Similar Posts

By Bashiruddin Faruki

By Ehaab

By malvika

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below