Hours after the Janata Dal United-Rashtriya Janata Dal-Congress Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) started to lead in the polls, people from the state had mixed reactions. While some reposed faith in Nitish Kumar’s third straight term, others felt BJP had missed the bus.
“The NDA diverted itself from pressing issues like education and infrastructure. How does the issue of cow and beef matter in rural economics,” said Manish Kumar, 28, from Mithilanchal constituency in Darbhanga. He believes BJP had a golden opportunity, but they let it slip.
“Had BJP stuck to their manifesto of development, things would have been different, said Kumar who works at an administrative post at a private college.
Vishnudev Mandal, 40, from Rajnagar constituency in Madhubani district believes the Grand Alliance harped on the caste arithmetic. “Yadavs voted for Yadavs, Muslims for Muslims and so on. All along Modi remained silent except for underlining non-issues,” he says. Mandal, a transport agent who left Bihar 16 years ago and migrated to the city, however, is sceptical of Grand Allaince ushering in development.
“Bihar was notorious for its crime when Lalu Prasad Yadav was at the helm. Now he is back. What can we say?” he says adding, “Migration from the state is bound to continue in the absence of employment opportunities.”
“Bihar has yet to see a government which works for the poor, says Chanchal Bhagat, 27, a cook from Vaishali district. He is nonplussed by the poll results.
“Once one gets a ration card here (in the city), the PDS system is regular. Back in Bihar we get 5kg of rice, wheat and a litre of cooking oil in about two months. The authorities don’t care. NDA made empty promises. Now that the Grand Alliance has won, it also will continue with corrupt practices,” he says.
Sanjeev Singh, 29, an educational consultant from Arrah in Bhojpur district said the division of portfolios between Lalu and Nitish will decide the future of Bihar.