Parties fear Bihar will see a hung Assembly

With uncertainty over permutations and combinations looming large ahead of the Bihar Assembly polls, leaders of political parties fear that Bihar could throw up a hung Assembly.

While no single party in Bihar is in a position to get an absolute majority as on today, the ruling partners — the JD(U) and the BJP — are giving conflicting signals on fighting the battle together. Even if they remain intact for power, they will lack the killer instinct due to the battle between Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, felt political observers.
As far as the RJD is concerned, its chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has not overcome the anti-incumbency factor. In fact, Lalu-Rabri had ruled the state for 15 years. Besides, his MY (Muslim-Yadav) combination broke in the last Assembly elections and in the 2009 general elections.
While Muslim votes got split into three parties — the RJD, the JD(U) and the Congress — even Yadav votes got divided.
Now, Mr Lalu Yadav and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan hope to emerge as the largest single party if the JD(U) and the BJP fight this battle separately.
Mr Nitish Kumar is said to have been overconfident of retaining power on the basis of performance of his government, consolidation of most backward castes (MBCs) and Muslims. However, this will be a risky game.
But if he plays the Bihar asmita (pride) card after returning assistance (Rs 5 crores) to Gujarat in protest of Mr Modi’s attempts to take a political mileage of it, then the electoral battle could be interesting, viewed a section of the Congress.
According to the insiders, the Congress’ position could improve as it can get votes from upper castes, minorities and backward castes. However, it is weak organisationally and lacks a leader either from the forward or the backward castes. The Bihar Congress is completely depending on party chief Sonia Gandhi and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi to take on Mr Lalu Yadav, Mr Nitish Kumar and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi (BJP).
But the saffron party could be major loser if decides to go it alone. This is because its upper caste and OBC constituency will get divided.
The current mood in the Congress is not to ally with the RJD.
The Sonia Gandhi-led party can get space only if the RJD or the BJP performs badly in this election.

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