Bihar assembly elections 2015: Of caste-based politics and development

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As caste remains an integral part of the politics as seen in past many years, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is currently on a drive to strictly adhere to the government administration for maintaining communal peace.

Political parties have always taken advantage of caste-based politics to gain their vote banks, during elections, but for the over all development, there is a need to think beyond caste-based politics.


One of the resident told OneIndia, "a political party can't rule with the help of one or two castes, they need support of all people, so if they can't think above caste politics, the life of Bihar people will decay."
The past reality of Bihar shows that casteism and development can co-exist and even succeed together.

During the erstwhile coalition of Janata Dal United (JDU)-BJP led by Nitish Kumar, development related issues got more prominence that qualitatively improved the situation.

In fact, when JD(U) and BJP coaltion was going strong, both parties worked hard to bring the non -Yadav caste in their stronghold. Caste-based politics had almost faded, when both parties JD(U) and BJP were united.

But, the same situation came back when Nitish Kumar broke the 17-year-old alliance with the NDA in 2013, and later tied knot with its arch-rival Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rastriya Janata Dal (RJD).

Ahead of the Bihar assembly elections 2015, both have joined hands to stand against the BJP.

A recap of 2010 assembly polls in Bihar

In 2010 assembly elections, Nitish Kumar led-Janata Dal (United) had won 115 seats and BJP had won 91 seats. As the then alliance of National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Nitish Kumar had a massive victory by winning 206 seats out of 243 seats.

2005 assembly elections

As compared to 143 seats in 2005 assembly elections, Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) was reduced to corner with only 25 seats in its kitty. Congress could not managed to do well by bagging just four seats as compared to nine seats in 2005.

Caste, a major factor in Bihar politics

Even the non- Yadav backward castes did not fully back Nitish in Maharajganj by-poll and he also did not succeed in getting the majority vote of the Pasmanda Muslims. [Bihar assembly elections 2015: Will foes turned friends be able to corner BJP?]

The Nitish Kumar-led JD(U)'s vote bank comprises 5% Koeris, 4% Kurmis, 15% Muslims and Lalu-led RJD comprises 14% of Yadavs.

Nitish Kumar checks law and order situation before festive season

Ahead of the state assembly election, the Nitish government is giving strict intructions to administrative authorties to maintain peace and communal harmony. [Why Bihar elections will be Lalu's comeback?]

As the festive season is coming from next month including Janmashtmi (September 5), Bakr-Eid (September 25), Dussehra (Oct 13-23), Muharam (October 24), Diwali (November 11) and Chhath (November 17), Nitish has set up meetings with officials, regarding the law and order situation in the state, so that peace prevails during the festivals.

Bihar politicians need to understand that caste-based politics and development cannot go hand-in-hand, when it comes to woo voters.

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