oppn parties Bihar: BJP-JD (U) Upbeat, But It Is Not Going To Be A Cakewalk

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  • University vice-chancellors in West Bengal decide not to hold final-year examinations despite UGC prod, will instead go by the state government advised 80-20 formula where 80% will be marked on performance in past semesters and 20% on internal assessments in the final semester
  • The Centre wants the ITI and other top Indian firms to bid for 5G as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE are not likely to be allowed to participate
  • India and China agree on total disengagement to return to peace ahead of the next round of military talks
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  • Despite localized lockdown, Covid cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in West Bengal. Newer areas brought under containment zones in Kolkata
  • ICSE, ISC results declared, Average scores in the English paper, 20% lower this year than the average in most years, pulls down the aggregate for most candidates
  • IIP contracts by 35% in May. Manufacturing goes down by 39.3%
  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
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  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
Amitabh Bachchan and his son Abhishek admitted to hospital for coronavirus
oppn parties
Bihar: BJP-JD (U) Upbeat, But It Is Not Going To Be A Cakewalk

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-06-09 16:24:05

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

Amit Shah kicked off the campaign for the ensuing state elections in Bihar by digitally addressing party workers in the state. It provided a glimpse of how election rallies will look like for a long time now as the country grapples with the fallout of the pandemic. Shah was upbeat and predicted a two-thirds majority for the ruling alliance. He also waxed eloquent on the 'exemplary' way in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had handled the Covid-19 crisis and also praised Nitish Kumar for his efforts in containing the spread of the virus in Bihar. He also said that the BJP-JD(U) alliance had delivered on good governance.

But the ground reality is different. Nitish Kumar's track record in this term of office has been uninspiring, to put it mildly. There have been no fresh initiatives by the government and the state seems to be running on auto-pilot.  Nitish Kumar has, throughout the current term, never displayed the zeal with which he transformed Bihar in his first and second terms as chief minister. Kumar was slow to react when the migrant crisis erupted despite Bihar having a huge workforce that is employed in other states. It is still searching for responses as the return of migrant workers has caused a huge spurt in coronavirus cases. If voting is held purely on the basis of performance, the ruling alliance might even lose.

But the alliance is lucky to have the better of the caste calculations, the major plank on which elections are lost or won in the state. The BJP brings in the upper caste votes while the JD (U) gets the backward communities and the Dalits. With a part of the Yadav's also ditching the opposition RJD during the Lok Sabha elections, this translates into a winning combination. But the RJD, despite Lalu Prasad being in jail and Tejaswi Yadav not showing the same charisma, is a formidable opponent. It has the state's sizeable Muslim community on its side and if it can win back the Yadav vote, it can still spring a surprise. The BJP-JD (U) alliance cannot take things lightly and will have to be spot-on in the selection of candidates and will have to counter local issues that may crop up. It will also have to provide employment to the vast number of returning migrant workers if they choose not to go back. In that case, remittances will also dip significantly and it will have to manage the economy with a depleted coffer. It is not going to be a cakewalk despite the state of the opposition.