Bihar has clearly swung into poll mode. Nitish is on ‘Biswas Yatra’. Congress is dreaming to make a comeback through a discredited leader of 1982 Delhi massacre fame. Lalu and Ram Bilas Paswan are busy in discrediting Nitish. They hardly have a strategy to take Bihar into the league of developed states of the country. Their past performances have been dismal pushing the state decades behind in the race of development. Nitish has lost some of his earlier friends too, ‘dost dost na rahe’. And they are mostly the disgruntled leaders of so called forward castes.
They wanted those favours from Nitish which perhaps was difficult for Nitish to accommodate. They have come out a single point agenda and that is to defeat Nitish in the coming assembly to teach him a lesson for not agreeing to their demands. They call him a “despot”. According to them, Nitish and Lalu two sides of the same coin. Nitish created sharp divisions in society with his “blatant caste politics”.
I have few questions to the organizing Heroes at Kisan Mahapanchayat in Patna. If for a moment the people of Bihar agree that Nitish has not done anything, will any of these leaders tell the people what are the achievements in their kitty? Have they not cashed on the best what the politics can provide? And what is the perception of people about their integrity? Let me ask a simple question: Can any one of them be accepted as the chief minister of Bihar?
Why do these leaders, all of so called forward castes, want to derail Bihar from the path of development that had started only in last four years?
Why have they not called the OBC landholders in the Mahapanchayat? They are quite in large number in Bihar. After all, OBC landlords will be equally affected, if the next government of Nitish Kumar would implement Bandyopadhyay Commission report related to the rights of sharecroppers if they were voted to power. Why are they creating the bogey about this policy when Nitish Kumar has been denying it?
Will the ‘aam aadami’ from the castes of these leaders desert Nitish following the call of these burnt out leaders born in their castes? I am sure they are intelligent enough to decide what is more important for the state on their own.
Can the people of Bihar believe that there has been no development in Bihar with Nitish in chair, as these leaders proclaim so?
Do they say that whatever even the seniormost journalists of India and some international reporters have written about Bihar in the national and international newspapers are farce?
As Sankarshan Thakur wrote in Telegraph, “Near the end of its first term in new hands, Nitish’s Bihar is a classical half-glass thing — full or empty is a partisan verdict.” But Thakur would have given Nitish the credit for brought Bihar to this condition from a situation of ‘total empty’.
Thakur very rightly observes: Bihar is not under the swish of a magic wand. What Nitish has is, at best, a broom. And no matter how furiously he has worked it these past years, he remains overwhelmed by the debris of decades of dereliction. For everything that has happened, there are so much that has not. That’s what is achievable when you have a broom for a magic wand and a calamity house called Bihar to clean up.
Politicians of Bihar have been confusing and misleading its people for all these years and have kept the state the most backward and poor in the country. Will they succeed this time too?
I am myself not very happy with the performance of Nitish. But the reason is not ‘batai’ bill. The farmers in Bihar need better technical input and marketing support to get the best of yield and price. The state government must ensure that their produce gets sold at the minimum support price.
I can’t predict the outcome of the coming assembly election. But I wish the people of all communities do distinguish between the sincere politician and the black sheep. I hope they do not cast their votes to bring back the misrule of Lalu-Rabri era.
Nitish still remains the best bet.
The views expressed by the author are personal.