इंडियन आवाज़     30 Nov 2023 04:42:05      انڈین آواز

CONGRESS FAILS TO UNDERSTAND BIHAR

   
The Congress party seemed to have got mesmerised by the turn-out of large number of people at the meetings of  Sonia Gandhii and Rahul Gandhi  but failed to comprehend that it was dealing with country’s one of the most politically conscious electorates, observes  BISHESHWAR MISHRA

Congress party was clearly surprised by the Bihar Assembly election results on Wednesday. It obviously did not expect to fare so badly. From 9 seats in the previous Assembly, it had dropped to mere 4 seats of the total 243 Assembly seats.

While congratulating Nitish Kumar for excellent performance, the Congress President Sonia Gandhi also tried to extricate the party from the embarassement by saying “We (Congress) did not have much hope in Bihar…”

But the fact that Congress had contested all the 243 seats alone indicated that party was hopeful of certainly improving its position in the state.

The much media hyped campaigning of party’s rising star Rahul Gandhi in at least 22 places in Bihar also failed to yield any spectacular results. The party seemed to have got mesmerised by the turn-out of large number of people at these meetings particularly the eager to watch youngsters, and failed to comprehend that it was dealing with country’s one of the most politically conscious electorates.

It was clear from the beginning of the polls that Congress was going to test the water in Bihar but one did not expect the oldest party of the country to take things so non-seriously- firstly by appointing party in-charge of the state polls who were not properly clued-into the state politics, and secondly by inducting into party fold those rejected elements from other party’s thereby discourageing genuine party members.

Like the RJD and the LJP, the Congress also failed to comprehend the mood of the people. Rediculing “development” and “law and order” as a political issue in this election proved to be counter productive for all of them. In this matter Nitish Kumar had exhibited his political acumen by articulating the issues which has been close to the heart of state’s electorate, cutting across all castes and community as they have been deprived of it for decades. And even if the Nitish-lead NDA regime has provided a mere semblence of this much sought relief to the Biharis, it has expressed itself in terms of the present poll verdict.

 There is not much strength in the arguments that because the Congress went alone, it divided the secular votes and thereby deprived the RJD-LJP candidates from winning the seats. The very fact that RJD-LJP, even after coming together had performed miserably, is indicative that it would have not made much difference as the electorate had made up their mind to give one more chance to Nitish Kumar as they seriously hope and wish that he would turn around the fate of the state by placing it on the road of growth, prosperity and peace.

The electorate which had forcefully favoured the argument of social justice first and development later, seems to have changed its mind now, at least for the present and perhaps for good.

writer is a senior journalist

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