The much awaited Bihar Assembly elections has now reached a new height with the high bolted pre-election drama going on. Political party’s alliances, breaking up and fighting over the distribution of seats, blame games, sarcasm in tones. You cannot deny that it is just like a massala Bollywood movie with a thrill. This tussle for governing Bihar has now led to formation of a Third Front by SP with Samajwadi Janata Dal-Democratic, NCP and National People’s Party (NPP), which will show its presence in Bihar Assembly elections.
With all the national and state level parties blaming Modi’s show “Mann ki Baat” as a platform for BJP to promote its agendas and campaign for the election, this currently central governing party has made it clear that it cannot let go of all the Dalit votes it will be getting due to Manjhi. It has finally allocated 20 seats to Mahadalit leader Jeetan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha, 40 to Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP, 23 to Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP and has kept remaining 160 seats to itself. Bihar Assembly Elections are of high importance for the party because it will be a test for BJP to show that it still has its grasp on people with its ‘Modi Hawa’thus measuring its popularity. BJP has received maximum upper caste votes in the last few assembly elections. And, 2014 Lok Sabha Election has shown middle class India’s trust on Narendra Modi. But, it should also be noted that it has never won majority and thus has been forming government in alliance with JDU. Aware of this fact, BJP has been moving on strategically to not to create havoc for itself in the elections.
On the other hand, RJD-JDU and Congress’s highly anticipated ‘Mahagathbandhan’ has seen the exit of SP and is now busy with the seat distribution as the date of submission of candidate list for first phase is coming close. The fate of this grand alliance is highly dependent upon the backward class votes. But, with Paswan and Manjhi on BJP’s side, Nitish and Lalu will have to deal with the division of Dalit votes. It is to be seen whether the magic of Nitish and his quite consistent tenures as Chief Minister favors his new friendship with Lalu Prasad Yadav or not. Though, the survival of this alliance has been a topic of discussion among parties, media and masses, since its birth.
Expelled RJD MP Pappu Yadav’ party Jan Adhikaar Party has not yet been sure about contesting the Bihar polls. While, Asaduddin Owaisi led AIMIM has decided on stepping in Bihar Assembly elections by contesting from Seemanchal region. RJD’s Raghunath Jha has migrated to SP on account of his former party’s cold behavior towards him. On the other side, LJP also lost its important leader Ramkishore Singh. Though the actively contesting parties don’t consider them a threat, these parties and leaders have been successful in making their presence in this pre-election play.
After seeing the current situation and estimated influences of various parties on the different sects of voters, we can look forward to another important as well as prevalent feature of Bihar Assembly Polls which is, the caste and religion of candidate. It has been clearly observed that parties have been using this tactic consistently to gain votes of Dalits and Muslims; and have certainly been successful. Their struggle (ethically right or wrong) to be visible and making a mark in the election, tends to make us think about how close they would keep to their promises if they win.
The Bihar residents have to make their decision to select which party or alliance has allured them with their social, economical and political infrastructures of developments. Or they will still follow their tradition of community divided voting. In this election, a large part of voters is aged between 18 and 40, which increases the building suspense of the fates of various parties. Though, it makes us wonder how will they skip the influence of the going on caste based strategies of parties and that their trust on the party despite their tinted approach, will prove fruitful to the state and its development.
In a way, this election season has increased the temperature and heat in the political world as it is capable of giving every participating party they need. Polls to the 243-seat Assembly would be held on October 12, 16, 28, November 1 and 5. Counting to votes will take place on November 8. With two rival parties coming together and disagreement of parties over seats, it will be interesting to see who will sit on the Iron Throne in this Game of Thrones.