Saturday, Dec 03, 2022
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bihar: elections

Patna Roughcut

The BJP looks the better organised in the coming Bihar polls. Can Nitish do a Delhi on them?

Patna Roughcut
Priyanka Rai
Patna Roughcut
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Bihar is the state where many seasoned political reporters have cut their teeth, understanding the great cut and thrust of social justice politics. It’s a state whose history is marked by the sharpest divisions of class and caste, the landowner, the landless, the poor, the very poor. Fertile ground therefore for huge social churnings, epic political movem­ents and demands based on identity. There have always been some thumb rules to covering Bihar, where a five-phase election begins on October 12, with the results declared on November 8.

But in 2015, these rules already appear changed if we go by the overarching pre­sence of the BJP. It is the frontrunner, visible in advertisement, cadres on the ground, with a campaign built around the prime minister of India and bombastic pro­mises of developm­ent in the parched earth of Bihar. The BJP is setting the terms of the debate, the political engagement. The traditional state players—titan-like political per­­sonalities like chief minister Nitish Kumar and the irrepressible Laloo Yadav—are on the backfoot, mostly bec­ause one or the other has been in power for the last 25 years. That is their biggest disadvantage.

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