(Dr. krishan Bir Chaudhary)
The people of Bihar have shown what popular mind is all about. Never has Indian assembly election seen this sort of decimation of national and regional parties.
The people gave a thumping majority of 206 seat in assembly of 243 seats or 84.7% representation under the leadership of Nitish Kumar. The people of Bihar rejected the games politicians play: playing one caste against another, one religion against another.
They voted for peaceful reconstruction of Bihar; . The 2010 Bihar elections have sent a strong message to the political class, especially those who believe that India can be ruled from a square mile of Delhi, to sort their political confusion out.
The previous leaders promoted nepotism, sycophancy, and corruption. and gave political patronage to powerful hoodlums. Kidnapping and extortion became big business; legitimate business suffered. This sort of strong arm tactics to extort money not only affected the urban professional and business classes but soon it threw rural Bihar into turmoil.
Growth stopped; marginal farmers and the landless started migrating to Punjab and Haryana in search of jobs because Bihar’s rural economy was floundering and cities were rotting. That is why they were rejected by the people.
Nitish turned that around. During his first five years one of the first things he did was to withdraw political patronage to the criminals. Over 50,000 were locked up in jail and over 9,000 are facing life imprisonment. This one action brought security to Bihar. People could now go back to work without fear of being harassed.
By concentrating of road and bridge system, he brought connectivity; people could travel from one place to another safely. Investment picked up, local jobs could be created; the capital city Patna now boasts of highest growth rate in real estate value among major cities of India.
It is not that Nitish’s first stint has been free of corruption. Bureaucratic corruption has continued but that corruption did not undermine safety and security of common people and young women.
That does not imply that people voted negatively. Rather, people recognized that with assured security and safety they could go back to work and live with dignity. People have become wiser and smarter. People are connected. Information travels very fast today.
The team Nitish has selected to govern Bihar must deliver within a given time frame with predictable results. What the people of Bihar have done is shown the door to leaders who are corrupt and at the same time fail to insure safety and security of life and property; they have rewarded those who ensure good governance.
(Editorial : Kisan Ki Awaaz Magazine)