If a politician wins an election and voters grants them the mandate, the meaning is crystal clear: that the voters have the utmost confidence in the leader, and their hope lies in the leader. Or else, the predecessor must have failed the voters then, and now, he paid the price. But then if the erstwhile politician reclaims the throne for the second consecutive term, that ultimately should mean that they have yielded cornucopia during this tenure. And the voters’ faith lies in that politician for the foreseeable future, hoping for another plethoric developmental transcendence.
Then what if that very politician pulls a “third time’s the charm?” That signifies that this politician is the sole messiah of the State and the opponent cannot hold their grounds against this “Good Samaritan” and so, they will continue to hold reins of the State. Or, perhaps, is this where the TINA (There Is No Alternative) factor into play?
There are five states in the country, where the Chief Ministers had held their office for at least fifteen years in a row, three terms per se. But the truth one should know about and comprehend is that those politicians never fulfilled the necessities of voters, and never did they deliver their word post-election.
If any politician were ruling a state for fifteen consecutive years, their developmental model would speak for itself. The very soil of the land would vouch for the progress and betterment of the region.
But, after all that governance, if one happens to draw the parallel between the life of the common man from fifteen years ago, and today, one would scarcely find any difference. The darkness has darkened more. The poor from then are poorer today. The crime rate has spiked, (be it caste-related crimes, robbery, or rape), industrial movements saw a steady contraction, corruption surged, per capita income was at an all-time low. But this leader governed the state for fifteen consecutive years, ensuring that the voters’ loyalty, faith, trust lies in that leader.
During his second term, voters’ trust was broken, the state’s economy had hit an abyss, yet he emerged victoriously. What sort of democracy is this? Is there a page in this democracy which quotes there is a system which lets the politician have complete anarchy over the state, and that has nothing to do with the voters, all voters get to do is get inked and say democracy won? This same charade is going to be played in Bihar once again.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar held the reins of Bihar for fifteen straight years. Again, he is the only face in the Bihar Polls. November 24, 2005, was the day he was elected for the first time as the chief minister of Bihar. He has held his office for fourteen years and eleven months. In between, there was a phase for nine months, or so, when Kumar had rented the CMO to Jitan Ram Manjhi, quoting that he felt defeated in Lok Sabha polls of 2014.
Yet for fourteen years and eleven months, Bihar was under the supervision of Mr Nitish Kumar. It is high time for you to fathom the context of Bihar and live that democracy in which, once every five years, you and I get our finger inked; hail the farce democracy, and continue dwelling in that dark cave engineered by that very politician.
Nitish Kumar isn’t the only CM to hold the office for 15 years or so. Raman Singh had held the CMO of Chhattisgarh for 15 years (October 7, 2003, to December 17, 2018). How good was his governance? Is there any accountability, whether it be in regards to the education system, healthcare, agricultural reforms? For fifteen years, Chhattisgarh has gone from bad to worse.
Then comes Madhya Pradesh, where Shivraj Singh Chauhan held his office on November 29, 2005. He served for thirteen consecutive years. Then, for a short stint, it was Kamal Nath, but later, Chauhan made a back-door entry to reclaim the throne in Bhopal. How good or how bad was his governance? Was there a scarcity of doctors in healthcare? How many new universities were set up? Was there any industrial amelioration? Yes, zero accountability.
Yet voters were busy serving them victories after victories on a silver platter. Naveen Patnaik has held the CMO of Odisha for more than 20 years now. Yes, his case involved the TINA factor. But then, there has been industrialization and corporates have entered the field, all due to a political nexus. If you happen to talk about tribals, farmers, the poor and the marginalized communities, they still are in a huge problem.
Not to forget the supreme leader, Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, who held the office for thirteen years. What is the truth of “The Gujarat Model?” How vibrant is “Vibrant Gujarat?” Whether it was the industrial sector, the agricultural sector, or the education sector, the stylesheet of corporate will eventually become the poor’s lifestyle. As an example, let us look at the number of BPL homes in Gujarat.
Because every politician who becomes the chief minister speaks about poor, tribals, farmers, it is surprising that it is these groups, for whom the conditions are often worsened. The population of Gujarat is 6.40 crore, and the around 1.16 crore houses fall under the BPL criteria. This means that the wealth of the state is in the hands of a few Bezos of Gujarat and, exclusively, their coffers are full. The majority is still struggling. Yet he won the state for three consecutive terms. How? There has got to be a tantra for succeeding in every election inclusive of government institutions.
Something tells me of a process consisting of two bits. Firstly, if a party bears the office for so long, corruption becomes a part of the system. Secondly, the law itself starts working for that very corrupt system against whom it should stand firm. This is what happens: the government swallows the law, and the law eventually digests this government and its governance.
Communal and caste divide, Farmers’ suicide, fake encounter, minimum wage issues are the topics for another Diwali. But now it is Nitesh Kumar, who is once again under the limelight, on whom BJP has also been banking upon to breach the fortress of Bihar. Here is some trivia, according to projected numbers, Bihar’s population is 12.4 crore. And around two crores among those are BPL houses. Imagine the plight here!
Bihar has 40 Lok Sabha Seats and has 243 Vidhan Sabha seats. And in this fifteen-year tenure, 85% of parliamentarians have become millionaires. Also, in the last three terms of Nitish Kumar, around 87% of Bihar’s new MLAs have become millionaires.
We are in 2020, and late Abdul Kalam wrote a book for this particular year envisaging to be “The New Millennium.” Yet, here we are standing in the same position, as we were in the early 2000s, with regards to poverty, crime rate, and educational reforms. Imagine how bad did our leaders perform to put us in this same position?
Bihar contributes 1.3% of GST, 1.2% of income tax collection, and only six universities were newly created by the state in the last 15 years. This rate is below par compared to the national average. Healthcare is just ridiculous in the state, where data shows that Bihar has one doctor per 28000 people when the WHO advises around one doctor per 1000 people. Even the Indian government says one doctor per 11000 people is required, and then there is Bihar. The state has the least number of hospitals, as compared to all the other states.
But, no matter what, Nitish Kumar has to be the face, since he has been the CM for 15 years. The criminalization of politics has risen to 75% in the last fifteen years. If we happen to calculate per capita income with rest to state income, yearly per capita income comes to INR 42,242; or INR 3520 monthly; or INR 117 daily. That would be Nitish Kumar’s Doberman’s hourly expense if he had one. Farmers’ income is the least in Bihar, at around INR 3500/month (INR 116/day). Bihar relies upon the mercy of the central government, which happens to be the whole reason why Nitesh Kumar is a puppet in the hands of the BJP.
Once you start dwelling about such plights in a state, it means democracy is transgressing in a way to hand the reign to the beholder for as long as possible. And he will go to any extreme to get what he wants because he has tasted blood. That is that folks; it is you who have to vote. Power will rule over you. You’ll be a decoy in the name of democracy, but since your condition worsens you have to muddle yourself in caste, community and creed, that’s your job!