Time stopped in Bihar: Who will shut their show?

Date:

(Dr Pentapati Pullarao)

No one can stop the Sun’s journey across the skies. Day becomes night and night becomes day.  But in Bihar, time has stood still since 1990 as there is no change in Bihar politics since 1990. Laloo Prasad became Chief Minister of Bihar in 1990 and later his wife Rabri Devi continued till 2005. From 2005, only Nitish Kumar has been chief Minister of Bihar, with a short-gap Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manji for one year. So, it is either Laloo Prasad Yadav or Nitish Kumar since 1990.The 2024 parliament elections will determine fate of Modi and the opposition. The results will also determine the fate of Laloo and his family and the evergreen chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Bihar is a key state in 2024 elections. In 2019, BJP alliance won 39 out of 40 MPs in Bihar. But since then, there have been problems in Bihar for BJP and it is widely expected, BJP alliance will get lesser MPs. Since 1990, it is either Laloo or Nitish and the political dynasties that depend on them. About 50 families have either been MLAs or MPs since 1990 or their followers. Time flew in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Since 1989, Telugu states have had Chenna Reddy, Vijaya Bhasker Reddy, NTR, Chandra Babu Naidu, YSR, KCR, Revanth Reddy and now Jagan as chief ministers. But in Bihar, since 1990, there have been only Laloo Prasad Yadav family and Nitish Kumar as chief ministers. Bihar Politics since 1990. Laloo Prasad Yadav became Chief Minister in 1990 from Janata Party. Laloo dumped the Janata party and started his own RJD.  Laloo Prasad has been kept away from Chief Minister chair since 2005 by Nitish Kumar. Laloo brought 4 of his children into politics as Ministers and MPs. Today his heir is 34-year-old Tejaswi Yadav, who has been deputy Chief Minister. From 1990, Laloo became an aggressive leader. There was also a total breakdown in law and Laloo’s government earned the name “Jungle raj “. From 1989, the Congress party has been decimated in Bihar. But in the empty space left by Congress, BJP has made inroads and many small caste parties have sprung. The BJP has never been able to get a majority on its own in Bihar. Since 2005, the BJP has shared power only due to Nitish Kumar. There is a vast difference between Nitish Kumar and Laloo Prasad Yadav. Laloo has numerous children and he got them into politics.  Nitish Kumar has only one son and he is totally invisible.  Nitish Kumar is known as a strong law and order chief minister and has a clean reputation. In addition to such qualities, Nitish is also a great crafty politician, who outwits BJP and Laloo whenever he wants. Laloo’s heir is Tejaswi Yadav, who was deputy chief Minister twice. Laloo wants to make him chief Minister. Tejaswi is ideally suitable for politics. Tejaswi is healthy, crafty, ruthless and without any borders for corruption. Most important of all, Tejaswi is only a high school pass, which really assures him success in politics. Too much education hinders political progress.

Why Nitish Kumar left India alliance and re-joined BJP: Nitish Kumar formed the India Aliance in June 2023 and expected to be made leader of the INDIA Alliance. But the Congress refused to make Nitish Kumar the Prime Minister face of opposition. Laloo wanted Nitish Kumar to become head of India allai9cne,so that he will resign as chief Minister  and give the job to his son Tejeswi. Immediately, in December, 2023, left the  Laloo alalaicne and re-joined BJP. Nitish felt what was the point of wasting  his time  with India Alliance.

Future in Bihar: We cannot predict the future. It depends a lot on results of 2024 parliament elections. A. BJP alliance got 39 out fo 40 MPs in Bihar in 2019. If BJP does well again, then Nitish Kumar will become a much stronger Chief Minister. 

B. If BJP alliance succeeds in Bihar, then Narendra Modi will get a big lift to get the Prime minister job again. Naturally, if BJP alliance does badly in Bihar, then it means Modi magic has vanished.

C. If Laloo India alliance does well and reduces the MPs of BJP alliance, then Laloo will be on strong ground for the next Bihar assembly election in 2025. Again, if Laloo does badly, then his family’s future will be in danger.  

D. Laloo will face serious consequences if he does badly, or BJP comes to power. Right now, the entire family of Laloo is facing a “railway Jobs for land scandal “.

When Laloo was railway minister between 2004-2009, 1500 railway jobs were sold to people for their houses or land. That scandal is now around his neck. Naturally, if the BJP comes back, there will be massive arrests Yes, ED and CBI are waiting Laloo has done everything to ensure his children don’t face rivals. Laloo ensured that famous student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and aggressive politician Pappu Yadav don’t get Congress tickets in 2024 from Bihar.  Laloo has planned everything for his family. Time has stood still in Bihar since 1990. Let us see if fate changes things and times move on in Bihar.

(Author is a Political and Economic analyst based in New Delhi)

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