Bihar set for D-day amid predictions of change

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 9

Amid encouraging exit poll predictions favouring RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav-led mahagathbandhan, key state Bihar is set to deliver tomorrow a verdict on what is being called the test of the “mood of the nation”.

The election is the first test for NDA-led Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi since the Covid-19 pandemic struck. It also tests the political worth of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar fighting his most difficult elections in the backdrop of 15-year anti-incumbency and gauntlet thrown down by LJP president Chirag Paswan.

They have transcended local and state issues to become a measure of national sentiments, political observers say.

Apart from the Covid-induced stresses like migrant, economic and job crisis, Bihar also polled amid the debate surrounding the contentious CAA, which many believe is one of the reasons for the BJP’s loss in Delhi.

Launching its characteristic poll blitzkrieg, the BJP gave these elections all it had with PM Modi and party president JP Nadda leading from the front, making it more about Modi and BJP than Nitish Kumar, who remained bogged down by his own difficulties, including Chirag’s constant nagging. Political observers say Chirag could not have pulled such a big stunt without the BJP’s blessings.

However, despite Chirag’s constant needling, the BJP threw its weight behind Nitish. PM Modi, who addressed around 12 rallies and fired all ammo in BJP’s arsenal.

To divert attention from the 15-year incumbency faced by Nitish, the BJP made these elections into “Modi versus the rest” with some heavy dosage of nationalism and its anti-national rivals.

Meanwhile, apart from decades-long political worth of Nitish, the day will also test Nadda as the BJP chief, who is yet to register an electoral victory for his party since he became the president.

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