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Bellwether or Insignificant? Winners, Losers Debate Bihar Council Polls

Published: 13th July 2015 06:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th July 2015 06:25 AM   |  A+A-

PATNA: Does the Legislative Council polls reflect the mood of common voters is a big question after the results of the recently held election to the 24 LC seats in Bihar. 

Since the timing of the Assembly elections is crucial in Bihar, the Legislative Council poll outcome evokes much interest among rival political camps, which view them as a morale booster.

Though BJP-led NDA secured a clear edge over the newly former grand alliance of the JD(U), the RJD and the Congress picking up 13 against 10 seats, the results can’t be treated as a total rejection of the Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance.

bell.JPG“The Council poll results are a reflection of the general mood as at least one or two voters from about 42,000 villages participated in the election, making its character a bit representative,” said senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.

Consisting of the elected members of local bodies, MLAs, MLCs and MPs, the electoral college made it an election of the representative of the representatives.

This gives enough reason for Nitish to down play the BJP win. “This is not the election where common people vote. If BJP people want to live in a fantasy world, let them be,” he said.

“Political parties hardly have any role to play in these polls and the election was more focused on individual candidates,” the Chief Minister added.

And his ally Lalu Prasad said, “Everyone in Bihar knows how candidates get votes in this election. Neither father nor brother, it’s money that matters.”

“This election was not fought on any ideology.  Rather it was on the basis of some other consideration,” he added.

Such allegations do carry some heft given that Ritlal Yadav, independent legislator from the Patna constituency, is facing 13 serious criminal cases and is lodged in the Beur jail and that LJP’s notorious Ranjit Don was also in the fray.

A recently released report by an NGO said that 44 per cent of the candidates in the fray were facing serious criminal charges. “The average asset of a candidate is five crore, and 70 out of the 177 candidates were millionaires”, said Election Watchcoordinator Rajiv Kumar.

“The political parties mainly gave tickets to those candidates having a sound financial background,” alleged CPI(ML) leader Kamlesh Sharma.

The Council elections are held in a totally different way.

History reveals that the Left parties had been doing well in successive elections to teachers’ and graduates’ constituencies despite their insignificant presence in the state Assembly.

The crucial political indication from the results was that a large number of the RJD voters failed to vote for the JD(U).



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