Daya Varma


In the recently concluded Bihar Assembly elections, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) [JDU] bagged 115 of the 243 seats and its partner Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)  won 91 seats. Thus JDU-BJP alliance won  206 incomparably ahead of Lalu Yadav’s. 22 and Congress’s  four seats. JDU-BJP are part of the National Democratic Alliance, which ruled India for five years with Vajpayee is the Prime Minister.


The Communist Party of India (CPI) won one seat and  CPI (ML), which contested nearly as many seats as Nitish Kumar’s JDU,  won  none.


The election results are a mirror to a frightening scenario for India and should be an eye-opener for the left.


Bihar like UP is an important state in the context of India. These two states greatly influence the outcome of the Parliamentary elections due in 2014. If things remain as they are, there is a good chance that the next government of India will be led by BJP, the political wing of the Hindu Chauvinist  outfit Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).


At the same time, Bihar elections are also an indicator of a respect for a civil administration in pubic life and relegation of caste as a dominant factor in electoral politics. It is good that Lalu Yadav’s technique of lawless rule has been given a rude thrashing. Congress contested all the seats on its own, perhaps as an experiment. What lessons it will draw from the debacle is any one’s guess. Nitish Kumar shifted his concern to economic development, rights of the most backward castes away from Yadavs and Kurmis and social status of women, deservedly with good dividends.


What would be of much concern to the left democratic forces is the setback suffered by CPI, CPI(M) and CPI (ML). What is significant is that the communists have  progressively lost their influence in Bihar. At one time, Bihar was the major base of CPI. Subsequent divisions in CPI under the garb of following a more revolutionary line than that by the parent CPI have proved disastrous for all variants of communist movement. Their base is gradually shrinking. They must draw appropriate lessons if the communist movement in India does not wish to duplicate the fate of Soviet Union and Europe. However, it is unlikely that they would draw appropriate lessons. 

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