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JDU-RJD alliance in Bihar Assembly Elections 2015: A right choice for Nitish Kumar or he is committing a blunder?
Bihar is gearing up for upcoming assembly elections scheduled in November later this year. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has started his campaigning. Narendra Modi also addressed two election rallies in the meantime. Couple of weeks ago two TV channels released their Bihar centric opinion polls.
One of the channels has shown that NDA is bit ahead of Nitish-led UPA but falling short of majority. It speculated that number of independents would be more than 25-30. Another channel speculated that Nitish-led UPA is getting majority. All those are no doubt speculations. The mood for electing a particular party or coalition in fact builds up only in the last week of election. In a state like Bihar much also depend on booth management, as in India elections are won or lost at voting booths only.

In this article, I will discuss about Nitish Kumar's strategy. Particularly I want to ask whether Nitish Kumar did a wonder or a blunder while aligning with Lalu Prasad Yadav's RJD. Here one thing to be noted is that in spite of committing blunders i.e. non-governance for last 2 years, Nitish Kumar is still the most popular leader of Bihar. The way he worked for 8 years (2005-2013) along with BJP for Bihar, nobody at this moment can discount him. In fact had he been with BJP, he would have been nearly invincible in Bihar polity.

Somehow in 2014 Lok Sabha elections his party, JDU was demolished in national politics. People of Bihar rejected him for his anti-Modi views. This might have shattered him, but should he go with RJD? It's to be noted that Nitish Kumar is most popular CM of Bihar but Lalu Yadav is the most unpopular CM of Bihar too.

The mathematics in consideration by Nitish Kumar and co is that BJP got 29.40% votes (NDA 38.8%) in LS elections 2014, but, RJD, JDU and Congress together got 44.30% (20.10%+15.80%+8.40%) votes, so if they form a coalition they can easily defeat NDA.

But this theory is basically on wrong concepts. First Nitish Kumar rose in politics opposing Lalu Yadav's rule. Nitish Kumar never opposed BJP. Even in the present case Nitish Kumar snapped all the ties with BJP not because of the ideology of BJP, but because of Narendera Modi's rise. Nitish lost around 8.24% votes when he opposed Modi. In the fight between Narendra Modi vs Nitish Kumar people chose the former.

JDU is making mistake while going with RJD. Here it needs to be noted that if NDA and JDU vote shares are put together it comes to 54.6%, which are anti-Lalu votes! JDU also fought against RJD in LS 2014 elections. Those who were anti-RJD chose to vote either for BJP or JDU, however, RJD got success in maintaining his vote share 20.10% (a rise of 0.8%) by getting the Congress's votes.

Secondly, in RJD-JDU coalition context one shouldn't assume that addition at the top level will result in addition at the bottom level also. JDU workers since the time of party's birth are doing anti-RJD politics. The remaining 15.8% voters need not necessarily support this coalition. Already 8.24% vote share has gone to BJP in 2014.

For the remaining vote share they would have to choose between RJD and BJP. This vote share has always opposed RJD whereas supported BJP. Thus it's more likely that there would be some drastic reduction of JDU vote share further. It should be noted that hard core anti-Modi/BJP votes always rally behind RJD and the Congress.

Now let's focus on RJD's Yadav vote bank. They will definitely support RJD wherever there is a RJD candidate. But it's doubtful whether they will support JDU in such a spirit. There are two basic reasons. First, no Yadav is going to be Chief Minister and second most important thing is that Yadav's are anti-Nitish Kumar.

Bihar is the only state in India, which has largest middle class population. Definitely along with Narendra Modi, Nitish Kumar is also a hero for middle class. But, RJD is like a villain for middle class. This section of the society is of the opinion that if JDU wins the election, Lalu Yadav will have his intrusive intervention that will make Nitish Kumar vulnerable to be blackmailed.

Final point is, how the seat sharing will be done. Even if seat sharing is done smoothly, will RJD workers help JDU candidates to win and vice versa? It's to be remembered that both Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar are two big personalities in Bihar politics. It's also a fact that one's survival will send other to oblivion. Thus, there is possibility of backstabbing during the election process.

So, my view is Nitish Kumar should go alone in the upcoming assembly elections. This would help him in winning back his lost vote share. With a good number of seats in his coffer, he would be having an opportunity to go for any post poll alliance based on his conditions only.

Do you also think that Nitish Kumar is committing a blunder while forming alliance with Lalu Yadav-led RJD?

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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