Nitesh – The new cast(e) of Bihar

We Indians are very impressionist people. While travelling in Delhi Metro overheard some  new age intellectuals comment on the Bihar verdict. Forgetting their usual North Indian contempt and hatred for Bihari’s, these intellectuals were praising the maturity of the Bihari voters.

The Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had  propelled the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to a historic electoral triumph by bagging 84 percent of the seats and decimating the Lalu Prasad-led opposition while virtually erasing the Congress from one of India’s most populous states.

Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance rode to victory on its development plank and won an incredible 206 of the 243 states. Considered kingmakers until just a few years ago, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) – Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) combine led by Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan, became number two with 25 seats. And the Congress, which rules the country and contested all 243 seats, was left lagging at a humiliating third with a dismal 4 seats, less than even the 9 it mustered in the 2005 poll.

Emphatic, resounding, decisive…..many other adjectives did the rounds as analysts and politicians attempted to grasp the extent of the poll victory that streered the 59 year old JD-U Chief Nitish Kumar to a second term of governing the state of 83 million. Both the JD-U and BJP, who have been aligned since 1996, made substantial gains over their 2005 strength, leaders of both parties credited the win largely to the charisma of Nitish Kumar.

Nitesh, whose past is rooted in the country’s now virtually defunct socialist movement, on his part said people wanted to put the state on the path of progress and that development had won in Bihar. Political analysts pointed out that the people had shown maturity and that this election had seen more women voters than men. But who did all the women and men vote.

Below is the table published by the Association of Democratic Reforms on the victorious candidates of Bihar.

Political Party Total MLAs in Assembly MLAs with pending Criminal Cases % of MLAs with pending Criminal Cases MLAs with pending Serious Criminal Cases % of MLAs with pending Serious Criminal Cases
JD – U 114 58 51% 43 38%
BJP 90 58 64% 29 32%
RJD 22 13 59% 7 32%
INLD 6 5 83% 2 33%
INC 4 3 75% 2 50%
LJP 3 3 100% 2 67%
CPI 1 1 100% 0 0%
JMM 1 0 0% 0 0%

Analysis of New MLAs of Bihar 2010 Assembly Elections:

A. 141 newly elected MLAs (i.e. 59%) in Bihar Assembly Elections 2010 have pending criminal cases against them according to their self sworn affidavits. In 2005 Bihar Assembly, 117 (i.e.35%) MLAs had pending criminal cases.

B. 85 MLAs out of these 141 analyzed have declared pending serious IPC charges like murder and attempt to murder charges against them. In 2005, 68 MLAs had serious pending criminal cases.

C. 76 MLAs analyzed (32%) have not declared their PAN card details.

D. A total of 47 MLAs (i.e. 20%) analyzed are crorepatis in Bihar Assembly Elections 2010. In 2005, 8 MLAs were crorepatis.

By strengthening the hands of the new cast(e), the “mature” voters of Bihar have indeed disappointed all those people who would want to see breaking the mould completely. 

But to be fair to the Bihar voters what were the choices they had. The 15 year Lalu Yadav rule had actually pushed them to stone ages. The Engineer turned politician, Nitesh Kumar’s road projects had helped the Bihar economy grow at an average of 11.35% annually between 2004 and 2009, compared with an annualised 3.5% in the previous five years. It had beaten national growth by several percentage points and then, considering that, this sure was a breath of fresh air. 

Statistics : Association of Democratic Reforms a Non-Political, Non-Partisan and a Non-Governmental Organization.

  1. January 9th, 2011
    Trackback from : Anita Iyer

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