Well-known psephologist and former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member Yogendra Yadav has put his money on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to emerge as the pre-eminent force in the Bihar Assembly Elections.
In an interview with The Times of India, Yadav said that the BJP has emerged as a number on force in Bihar.
“No matter who forms the government, BJP will emerge as the pre-eminent political force in Bihar. This is a major shift from what Bihar used to be… the manner in which the game is being played is BJP vs the rest… it makes the BJP the number 1 political force in Bihar,” Yadav said.
He, however, rued that the change in political equations “reverses all the gains of social justice politics of the last two decades”.
He went on to blame Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav for the situation.
“This is the great achievement of Messers Lalu and Nitish, that they have made the BJP in Bihar, what the Congress once was in the entire country,” he said.
“What began as a major change of the feudal mindset of Bihar got stuck because social justice did not translate into developmental gains. Lalu Yadav’s first government brought huge changes, the fact of his being there was the huge change. After that, the second and third regimes were a curse on Bihar. Nothing happened or was allowed to happen. Unless the politics of social justice can be combined with something for ordinary people on a day to day basis we have the danger of the gains of social justice being rolled back, without corresponding gains in the governance being offered,” Yadav explained.
Asked why does he think the arithmetic is not in favour of the Lalu-Nitish grand alliance, Yadav said “whenever grand coalitions have been formed against one force (BJP), that force emerges dominant”.
Yadav did not mince words in describing the two sides: “The choice (in front of the electorate) is between naked majoritarianism versus a completely defocused caste coalition which offers nothing for the future of Bihar, and which includes one of the most corrupt political forces this country has ever seen. So its majoritarianism versus corruption.”
He also criticised his former colleague, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, for giving support to the secular alliance.
“This is the politics of haste, politics of short term of getting power at any cost. We formally don’t have a photo of Lalu and Arvind together, but the mental image is there. This a betrayal of the promise of the anti corruption movement,” he said.
He also described Nitish Kumar as a “tragic figure” who gave up on governance and administration “too soon”.
“He tried the social justice plus development agenda once and succeeded. But one Lok Sabha defeat has made him surrender to everything he once stood against.”