The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced its make or break strategy in Bihar, particularly in the last two phases, but the party prime campaigner and prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is training his guns on Lalu Prasad and its alliance partner Congress than the JD (U) chief Nitish Kumar.
Perhaps after sharp polarisation of votes in the last two phases it became evident that Kumar’s party, JD(U) may fall between two stools in many constituencies and a section of media too has started obituary of the man credited for making turn around in Bihar.
‘Modi Wave’ in the State may have given a fresh lease of life to Lalu as his party was down in the dump till the first week of March and most of the party leaders were exploring options in other political parties, especially in JD(U).
Almost a year ago, when Nitish planned to walk out of BJP-led NDA, he was aware of the possible setback of losing upper (about 12 per cent) but was very confident that his political master stroke would fetch majority of 17 per cent Muslim votes that would be enough to compensate the loss, and at the same time shift in Muslim votes would further weaken the RJD and hoping for likely Congress alliance may consolidate this new social engineering.
Unfortunately, his whole game plan failed to take off.
Political observers are of the view that JD(U) might not do better in this election, but still enjoys support of a large section of Extreme Backward Castes (EBC) and Maha-dalits and if the party remains intact, both social constituents together comes around 40 per cent (EBC 30 per cent and Mahadalit 10 per cent) of votes a sizeable number by any yardstick.
But in polarised electoral battle, Kumar’s core voters still counted as non-aggressive ones or may get influenced by EBC card recently played of BJP in the State to win their confidence. BJP has tried to portray Narendra Modi as first EBC prime ministerial candidate.
Despite all these permutation and combinations some JD(U) candidates may prove dark horse in some constituencies and no doubt despite being squeezed between two major political alliance may lose battle but not the war.
The social constituencies developed by Nitish Kumar in the past eight years have got given indications of deserting his fold.
These days Nitish Kumar is also making emotional speeches stating that if “you don’t give vote to me, then everyone would say that people in Bihar vote in the name of community and caste and not development”.
Perhaps the worst victim of the election in the State was ‘development agenda’ which lost in political mudslinging at its worst form in Bihar.