Lesson from Bihar Assembly Elections 2020 in a Post COVID Space

Nitish Kumar took oath as Bihar Chief Minister for the seventh time, announced the portfolios in the first Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, with seven BJP ministers.

Nitish Kumar took oath as Bihar Chief Minister for the seventh time, announced the portfolios in the first Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, with seven BJP ministers. In Bihar assembly elections 2020, the BJP won 74 of Bihar’s 243 seats, while Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) won only 43 seats, down from 71 in 2015. Out of fourteen ministers, the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government has seven ministers from the BJP, five from the JD(U), and one each from the HAM and VIP.
An additional deputy chief minister is the main gains for the BJP along with the Speaker’s chair and seven ministries. But Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has managed to retain the crucial home ministry.
 
Prashant Kishor, the political strategist who had worked closely with Nitish Kumar during the 2015 assembly elections and later on dismissed from the party, tweeted immediately after Nitish Kumar takes oath as a Bihar CM. “Congratulations to Nitish Kumar for taking oath as the BJP-nominated chief minister,” tweeted Prashant Kishor, an effort to underline Nitish Kumar’s dependence on the BJP.” Kishor also said, “With a tired and politically belittled leader as CM, Bihar should brace for (a) few more years of lackluster governance,” which of course echoed the voice of opposition.
 
Media and Kishor may focus on the people’s frustration over Nitish Kumar in a pandemic situation but of course ignored three major things, trump card to the NDA’s success. The first one is women’s support, especially older women’s ability to make decisions for their own, political pundits even ‘much-hyped’ Prashant Kishor failed to understand. The second lesson is ‘united we stand, divided we fall.’ Nitish Kumar’s JDU may look weaker than the 2015 Bihar Assembly elections but the Modi-Nitish joint effort made NDA stronger in Bihar. The third but the most important point is appropriate political tactics in post COVID19 scenario which is vital for all political parties. The year 2014 changed the political perception of India and now COVID19 has changed all political equation if it is not learned quickly then very soon many political pundits and political parties may lose their base in their own beloved space.

Jayanta Guha

Consulting Editor

Nilanjan DasGupta

Editor-in-chief, India Scanner

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