Thursday January 23, 2020
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Interesting times for Nitish and Bihar

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By Tarun Pratap

New Delhi: Nitish Kumar was unanimously elected the leader of the  grand alliance on Saturday marking the beginning of an ensuing challenging if not tricky tenure for him.

Nitish Kumar, as he sits on the throne of Bihar for the third consecutive term, will enjoy the support of the comeback man of Indian politics, ironically whom he had ousted earlier.

Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD emerged as the most successful party bagging 80. Lalu is expected to have a fair say in the administration process.

Despite having major differences, both Lalu and Nitish  got united to stop the BJP juggernaut. And if they are to run the government successfully, they will need to have more common developmental agendas.

Nitish Kumar made seven commitments and it will not be easy to fulfill those with BJP in the center and ready to pounce on the opportunity to lambaste Nitish’s faults. Nitish will need almost three lakhs crores to complete his seven election pledges including 35 per cent reservation for women in the government and the jobs to youth.

The grand alliance has the clear majority as of now but if anyone backs out at some point then a new equation will come into place. It will be the BJP who would be in the driver’s seat and either of RJD or JD-U will need the support to form the government.

Nitish and Lalu know each other very well, their entente goes way back, they have come circles but issues in politics are never resolved and BJP tried to create a rift by publishing a video of Nitish Kumar with a tantric who was saying things against Lalu.

Moreover, the two sons of Lalu are in the contention of ministerial posts and if they get one, it will provide a huge boost to RJD which had remained sidelined for quite a time.

While Lalu’s supporters are happy to see him back, a faction was however left speechless. Lalu still has the corruption charges but as the ‘communal’ forces had to be thwarted, his comeback became the need of the hour.

There is no denying the fact that Nitish Kumar has brought in developmental changes in the last 10 years for Bihar. People have seen the change over the years but will this sustain in the next five years? Especially given that the focus of the two stalwarts from Bihar has shifted now. the paradigm shift in focus can be attributed to the secular and communal powers talks that have overshadowed agendas of development.

 

 

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Congress To Use Tribal Card to Regain Power in the Country

Congress to use tribal card to improve countrywide position

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Congress Chhattisgarh
Congress will be using the tribal card to regain dominance and their plan of action will begin from Chhattisgarh. Wikimedia Commons

BY SANDEEP PAURANIK

In order to regain dominance in the country, the Congress is mulling using the tribal card. This plan of action is to be first implemented in Chhattisgarh.

Riding on the success of the Assembly and urban body elections, the Congress feels that it can increase it base through tribals as they constitute 8 per cent of the total population.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the first three Assembly elections in the state, after its formation in 2000, recorded huge victories and came to power. But after the Assembly elections held last year, the scenario changed. After registering a victory in the Assembly elections and then in the urban body polls, the Congress showed that it still dominates the tribal areas.

Rahul Gandhi Congress
Former President of Congress Rahul Gandhi gave an important message while innaugrating the National Tribal Dance Festival in Raipur. Wikimedia Commons

The Congress gave the responsibility of the tribal areas to the tribal leader of Madhya Pradesh Umang Singhar which eventually helped the party. Now, the party is planning to spread out nationwide through Chhattisgarh.

Former party president Rahul Gandhi, while inaugurating the National Tribal Dance Festival in Raipur, gave a message to the tribals who are here to participate in the festival that the Chhattisgarh government is working for all the sections and this is the reason why there has been a downward trend in naxal attacks and the state economy has also improved.

The Congress is planning to publicise the improvements in Chhattisgarh throughout the country because the tribal population in the state is 32 per cent.

BJP media panellist Sandeep Sharma, however, claims that the party’s base has not shrunk. He said till Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were not divided, the Congress was strong in the area but in the elections held after three years of the bifurcation, the BJP won the Assembly elections and was in power for 15 years. Though we faced defeat in the 2018 elections, the only reason was that people wanted a change but they were not angry with the BJP, he claimed.

The BJP won in the Lok Sabha elections and the margin in the urban body elections was also not much. So, it would be inappropriate to say that the BJP’s base has shrunk, he said adding that in one year the Congress’ base has declined by 9 per cent whereas in Assembly elections it got 12 per cent more votes and in urban body elections the margin was 3 per cent.

Congress
The Congress is planning to publicise the improvements in Chhattisgarh throughout the country. Wikimedia Commons

Analysing the political landscape of the state, political analyst Rudra Awasthi said, “When it was Madhya Pradesh then the Congress had stronghold in Chhattisgarh. Several big leaders were also from the state but after the formation of Chhattisgarh since Ajit Jogi was accused of being a fake tribal the Congress lost its stronghold over the tribals. Though it continued to dominate in some of the areas which helped it in regaining the power.

“As of now, the Congress has started including the tribals with the backward class. First Bhupesh Baghel was the state chief of the party and he was replaced by Mohan Markam as he became the Chief Minister. During the Assembly elections, the Congress talked about the identity of the tribals which helped the party. After winning the elections, the decisions of the Congress government were in favour of the tribals which helped the party in the urban body elections,” said Awasthi.

Also Read- Unity in Diversity is the Strength of the Country: Rahul Gandhi

The Congress is mulling over spreading its message to the tribals across the country through the three-day festival going on here. For this several senior leaders of the party will attend the festival and share the government’s schemes while giving the message that the Congress government in the state has brought a positive and a significant change in the lives of the tribals. (IANS)