oppn parties Shadow Boxing Over Bihar

News Snippets

  • Mediators tell the protestors in Shaheen Bagh that the Supreme Court will listen to them more keenly if they remove the roadblock and move to an alternate site
  • No headway by mediators in the Shaheen Bagh imbroglio. Protestors say adjoining roads are running fine.
  • After China objects to Home Minister Amit Shah's Arunachal visit, India says China has no business to comment on the issue as the state is an integral part of India
  • The OBC "creamy layer" to be changed by including salary as part of the income that will decide the threshold. This will lead to many more getting left out
  • RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat says the word "nationalism" should not be used now as it has acquired negative connotations
  • UP Sunni Central Wakf Board accepts the 5-acre plot given by the government to rebuild the Babri masjid as per the terms of the Supreme Court order
  • Two dalits thrashed and abused in Rajasthan's Nagaur. Police arrest 7 persons
  • Supreme Court rejects curative petition in the Uphaar cinema fire case in Delhi and says there will be no further jail terms for the owners, the Ansal brothers
  • Government data placed in Parliament shows a sharp decline in job creation under its flagship employment generation schemes
  • The government is working to amend the Aadhar Act to make it possible for the Aadhar to be linked with the Voter's ID. Election Commission will simultaneously be empowered to link the two
  • Tapas Pal, former TMC MP, dies of cardiac arrest in Mumbai. He was questioned for his alleged involvement in the Rose Valley scam and gained notoriety for his rape remark in 2014.
  • Bypoll to panchayats in J&K, scheduled for March in eight phases, postponed due to security concerns.
  • Supreme Court says that overhead power transmission lines going through the Desert National Park in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan must go underground to save the Great Indian Bustard and the Lesser Florican
  • Pakistan not placed in FAFT blacklist but kept on the grey list with warning
  • The government is expected to announce duty cuts and other measures to combat business disruption due to coronavirus outbreak in China
Former principal secretary to PM Modi, Nripendra Mishra, appointed to head the temple committee of the Ram Janambhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust
oppn parties
Shadow Boxing Over Bihar

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2015-09-25 16:48:28

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The war of words between Modi and Nitish-Laloo-Sonia combine has escalated. As elections in Bihar draw closer, both parties have taken to malign each other. While the combine chides Modi for thumping his chest unnecessarily and for his empty promises, Modi asks them for provide the account of what they did in the last 25 years and where the money went as he says there is no development in the state.

The Bihar scenario is totally confusing. While Nitish loses no opportunity in bashing Modi and the BJP, it is a fact that he ruled the state for several years with the party. While Modi asks for accounts, it is a fact that his party was associated in governance for some of the years in question. So the BJP must also provide some answers. While Sonia now shares the dais with Laloo, it is a fact that when Laloo was jailed in the fodder scam, Rahul Gandhi categorically stated that his party will not associate with convicts. While Nitish and Laloo are thumping each others’ back now, they were sworn enemies not so long ago. While Ram Vilas Paswan says he was Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s choice as chief minister of the state, it is a fact that he has been thoroughly marginalized in Bihar politics and has just about managed to save himself from sinking by latching on to the BJP. The Congress has also tagged along with Nitish-Laloo precisely for this reason. It knows it will sink if it swims alone.

A scenario like this would have meant tough competition. The combine has done well to group together in order to prevent splitting of votes. Although seat sharing concerns will remain and some amount of fighting among grassroots cadre is expected, votes are not expected to split too much. But it remains to be seen how the people vote â€" along caste lines or for development.

Although it is true that Modi does not have a magic wand to bring acche din, but try explaining that to the common man who bought his line during the general elections. People have started questioning the NDA regime’s inability to act on its promises. They do not understand that the government does not have a majority to push through its legislations in Rajya Sabha and has got important legislations stalled. There have been a lot of negative vibes on the Land Bill too. It is the youth, comprising a sizeable portion of the voters, who are again going to play a decisive role in the outcome.

The Bihar election assumes great significance as the opposition wants to corner Modi and claw back. Modi, buoyed by wins in local elections in scam scarred Rajasthan and MP, seeks an opportunity to consolidate. He knows that Bihar will give a lot of seats in the Rajya Sabha. The BJP needs wins in states to turn the tables on the opposition by gaining a working majority in the upper house. The price of onions, among other things, is also going to have a bearing on the results. One thing is sure â€" none of the major players are feeling secure and are hence indulging in sparring and shadow boxing. Sadly, no one talks about real issues.