The New Test of Bihar

By The Editor: Siddharth Sehgal

The swearing in ceremony bungle of Tej Pratap Yadav stirred the netizens in making foreboding comments about the future of state and mind you these concerns are not unfounded as the past rules under RJD and the youthful inexperience of Yadav scions. The actual test of Nitish Kumar has begun now. He might hold the CM chair in state but will his word be final in decisions and policy making is yet to be seen.

 Everyone even the fiercest supporters of Nitish Kumar have misgivings about the functioning of government. Contesting and winning election is one thing because lot of factors like caste, seat & ticket distribution and local politics comes into play but running the government with a partner which is synonymous with nepotism, lawlessness and graft.  Will Chief Minister show sternness in checking a history sheeter member of RJD, will he order probe into the misconducts of railway and mining contracts when members of lantern party are involved. Above all will he able to reign in his authority if the kidnappings of the likes of movie Apahran starts happening again.

Nitish Kumar had a reasonably unblemished record, it’s his reputation and credibility that will be on the line from the first day. Every step, misstep right or wrong decision will be pointed at the Maha-gathbandhan and if any case of irregularities comes up to the attention of nation that has the name of Lalu Yadav on the wall, Nitish will face the music because of his guilt by association. Even the tantric Nitish visited for election victory was not happy with his alliance with Lalu and Co.

This brings us to the problem of castism in state; it is a very sad fact that all the political parties contesting Bihar election tried to pull in votes based on peoples last name. It’s not just about those living in villages. People among the intelligentsia, doctors, engineers, accountants, people in government jobs, business sector etc. also vote along those lines of division. May be they have this feeling that politicians of other communities will not work for them. If that’s the case they should try voting for an independent candidate or government should appoint governor to administer constituencies that have voted NOTA but until this decisiveness which is encouraged by political parties is blunted, the stigma of a sorry state will be there to stay.

Many parties who are keen on projecting Nitish as a Prime Minister candidate are rushing the things in my opinion. Equation that works in Bihar does not apply at national level. His political bedfellows don’t have the reputation to attract votes in the name of fair and transparent governance. How Bihar will turn out under the new government only time will tell but within six months it will become clear if the arrow has hit the bullseye or missed the bull altogether.

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