Nitish Kumar And Bihar

Nitish speaks at Bihar Development Dialogue (Video)

Nitish favoured for CM, but BJP could win: What the pre-poll surveys on Bihar say so far
According to the survey, the BJP-led alliance will win 125 seats in the Bihar Assembly elections thus crossing the 122 mark which is required to win a simple majority in the 243-member state Assembly...... The JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance, according to the survey, will win 106 seats. ..... The ITG-Cicero survey also said that the BJP-led alliance, including LJP, RLSP and HAM, will win 42 percent of the total votes while JD(U) will win 40 percent...... even though the most-favoured choice for the post of Bihar Chief Minister was Nitish Kumar, the people of the state wanted a BJP-led alliance government...... an opinion poll taken by India TV channel said that the mahagathbandhan or the grand alliance of JD(U)-RJD-Congress is projected to win between 116 and 132 seats in the Bihar Assembly ...... The BJP-led combine has been projected to win within a range of 94 to 110 seats, according to the poll conducted by C-Voter ..... On the question of who is the best chief minister, a whopping 53 percent respondents favoured incumbent Nitish Kumar, while only 18 percent preferred BJP leader Sushil Modi and only 5 percent preferred Lalu Prasad and Shatrughan Sinha........ the Lalu-Nitish-Congress combine is projected to win 43 percent votes this time, while the BJP-led combine is projected to win 40 percent votes ..... during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the NDA comprising BJP, Paswan LJP and Upendra Kushwaha's RLSP won in 174 Assembly segments. The Lalu-Nitish combine could win only in 51 Assembly segments in the face of Modi wave.
Bihar Story Part II: Anti-Modi revolt which didn't work and other blunders of Nitish Kumar
Nitish Kumar did indeed overplay his hand. He stretched his sudden, written-in-a-hurry, I-hate-Modi script to lengths at precisely the time that Modi mania was viralling across the country. And it backfired. ...... When Nitish took his opposition to Modi to an obsessive level he calculated that a section of the BJP, inimical to Modi’s growing influence, would support him in his new political venture. While so miscalculating, he also overlooked the vulnerability of his Bihar model of development that was essentially funded by the state....... Till 2012, he was given to believe by leaders like LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari that there was hardly any scope for Modi to burst on the national stage. ...... In a dinner meeting hosted by Arun Jaitley, the then BJP president Nitin Gadkari famously remarked, “Nitish ji agar aap chahenge tab bhi vo pradhan mantra nahi ban sakte (Nitishji even if you want Modi will never become the Prime Minister)”.......

In Nitish Kumar’s assessment, the BJP had a limited capacity to grow and would be restricted way below the majority mark in the best case scenario.

..... This drubbing disoriented Nitish and his politics. One blunder followed another. ...... Having been deserted by upper castes and Mahadalits, Kumar found himself in a precarious position and compounded his blunders by choosing an alliance with Lalu’s RJD in desperation. This flew in the face of his own politics of the last two decades and the massive affirmative mandate he received in 2010 on the Lalu-Jungle-Raj plank. ...... Suddenly, the man who turned around Bihar has squandered the narrative of development and optimism he weaved. .... Nitish should have been in a commanding position, not on shaky ground.
The Bihar Story Part I: Only Nitish Kumar could've breached his fortress. And he did.
The best Bihar narrative can be found in Hindi novels of master story-teller Phaneeshwar Nath Renu. His two famous novels “Parti Parikatha and Mailaa Aanchal” contain stories of

numerous social mutinies that churn society underneath with deceptive surface-level calm.

........ The Kosi region that comprises Purnea, Saharsa, Supaul, Madhepura and Bhagalpur, is literally a forsaken land frequently visited by natural and man-made calamities. Renu’s stories and plots used to be set either in the pre-independence era (1940s) or post-independence (60s & 70s) wherein the intermediary castes were still learning to assert themselves under the Congress umbrella....... Bihar changed radically over the next two and half decades. The 1990’s that saw the ascendancy of Lalu Prasad Yadav under the banner of VP Singh’s Janata Dal. He was seen as an effective antidote to the dominance of the oppressive upper castes. ....... Lalu altered the political grammar of the state, invented new idioms and vocabulary that kept the caste-ridden and fractious Bihari society always on the precipice. The 1990-2000 decade saw a spate of caste killings, each tragedy yielding rich political dividends to Lalu Prasad. The combination of Dalits, OBCs and Muslims made for the biggest social chunk and it always tilted in his favour. ....... the radicalisation of society hardened. Upper castes and landlords floated their own private armies such as Ranveer Sena, Kunwar Sena ostensibly to protect their honour and unleashed terror against the hapless. ......... In 2005 Nitish Kumar’s emergence as the face of the BJP-JD (U) combine marked a definite deviation from a political order which promoted social acrimony at the expense of people’s welfare and development. ... Nitish Kumar’s experience as an able and no-nonsense administrator earned him laurels even from former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. Since Kumar belonged to Kurmi caste (OBCs), he won over a considerable section of non-Yadav OBCs also to his fold....... Unlike Lalu he resurrected the state and institutions to restore people’s confidence in the government. Just after his thumping victory in 2010, Kumar aptly described his agenda as “governance, governance and governance”. ...... The absenteeism of teachers and doctors from schools and government-run hospitals was curbed. In words of Shaibal Gupta, a noted scholar on Bihar, Nitish Kumar managed to restore people’s faith in the state. In the process, he forged

a potent “coalition of extremes” that combined social elites and underdogs.

“This coalition of extreme was a powerful counterbalance to Lalu’s Muslim-Yadav combine,” said Gupta. ......

Even officials who worked closely with Kumar admit that the first five-year rule of Nitish Kumar saw a maniac frenzy to push development agenda. “There was so much to do and so little time,” Nitish Kumar used to say. A group of dedicated IAS officials was chosen and asked to work and monitor development projects round the clock. The state witnessed construction of a record number of bridges and state highways in those five years that saw for the first time growth rate surpassing even Gujarat. In terms of social indices, Bihar had shown considerable improvement with literacy rate and primary health.

...... A new narrative of optimism and hope was weaved around Bihar which could now tout its own model of development. This

prompted even RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to say that the Bihar turnaround was a greater feat than the success story of Gujarat.

...... Sitting in this impregnable fort, Nitish Kumar seemed well and truly set for a long innings. Only he could breach his fortress. And he did.
Gandhi’s ordinary greatness: Among the Mahatma's weaknesses, ‘racist’ is a kind epithet
Mahatma Gandhi never made a fetish of consistency. Far from it, he described his inconsistencies as the result of his gradual evolution as a man. ...... Gandhi went to South Africa as a failed barrister from India, and was determined to make it big. His sartorial preferences and tastes were carefully cultivated to match the British. Since he had studied in England, he easily made friends with the Whites. He made no bones about this in his autobiography. ...... Apparently, the problem with Gandhi is that he was never shy of his human vulnerabilities. Contrarily, he encouraged people to talk about it and do a threadbare analysis to put him down from the saintly pedestal. His disciples left him when he undertook his ‘celibacy experiments’ in the company of younger women. He did not try to convince them, but allowed them to choose their way. Just a few days before he was shot dead, Gandhi declared that all his experiments would come to a nought should he utter any word other than ‘Ram’ when confronted with violent death....... Gandhi was conscious of the fact that he might even err in his death. That is the precise reason that his guiding principle was that no man is good till he is dead. All thorough his life, Gandhi erred and corrected himself like an ordinary human being. He never claimed to be born with any attributes superior to an ordinary mortal. He was lampooned not just by the likes of Winston Churchill who called him as ‘half-naked Fakir’ but

was deserted even by his colleagues on the issue of Partition dismissing him as an idiosyncratic old man.

........ Gandhi died liked an ordinary mortal, just the way he lived. If one is determined to recount weaknesses of Gandhi’s life, ‘racist’ and ‘pro-British’ would count among the kinder epithets. Gandhi subjected himself to criticism of a far more serious nature. Therein lies his greatness.
Pre-poll survey predicts majority for BJP and its allies
'Lalu is already part of Bihar govt, so where’s jungle raj?' Nitish at the IBN Dialogue
Appealing to an aspirational section of society, he said that he had successfully laid the foundation of basic development on which the next round of initiatives could be taken. "If given a chance, we will work towards taking development to the next level," he said while dismissing the fear that his association with the RJD would derail the dvelopment agenda...... His nearly 50-minute-long address was heard in rapt attention by the audience comprising intellectuals, politicians, media and people from different walks of life. ...... Nitish said that in the past 10 years, he had resurrected the state, restored people's faith in law and order and focussed on the human development agenda. ..... He said he was determined to ensure electricity supply to all households in the state by end of 2016. Referring to rising people's expectations and aspirations of the youth, he said that his next round of development would address all major issues like skill development, WiFi facilities in educational centres, setting up of new medical colleges and nursing institutes. It was apparent that Nitish wanted to use the IBN Dialogue Bihar 2.0 , the first major political debate after the announcement of the Bihar election, as a platform....... Modi said that Nitish had decided to part company with the BJP soon after the 2010 Assembly election. He said that Nitish tried to follow the example of Naveen Patnaik to build his own base. “Nitish invented the excuse of Narendra Modi and decided to follow a course which was inimical to Bihar," Sushil Modi said.