Sunday 4 October 2015

Bihar Elections: Sweep in favour of the Mahagathbandhan

I predict not just a bare victory but a sweep in favour of the Lalu-Nitish alliance in the coming Bihar elections. This is based on simple mathematics.

As I had said in an earlier post, voting in most states in India, including Bihar, is on the basis of caste and religion. The exception to this rule is when there is a wave.

In the May 2014 elections there was a Modi wave, as people, particularly the youth, were captivated by the magic slogan of 'vikas', which promised millions of jobs to our huge population of unemployed youth, whose voting age had been reduced from 21 to 18 by a Constitutional amendment of 1988.

This slogan, however has proved hollow, as jobs have not been created, and the youth have been left high and dry. While there has been a lot of big talk, hardly anything has been done by Modi except stunts like 'Swatchata Abhiyan' ( I visited Varanasi yesterday and found it as dirty as ever, and I spoke to many citizens there who said the same ), Yoga Day, etc and meaningless foreign trips which must have cost a huge amount of money and whose end result is ' khoda pahaad, nikli chuhiya'.

So the Modi wave has totally dissipated, and now voting in Bihar will be on the traditional lines of caste and religion.

Here are the caste demographics of Bihar which I got from the net :
Population (%)
OBC/EBC 51% ( Yadavs -14%, Kurmis- 4%,[24][25]( EBCs - 30%[26][27][28][29][30] -includes
kushwahas - 6% Koeris -8%,[31] Teli-3.2%))
Mahadalits* + Dalits(SCs) 16%[32][33]
Muslims 16.9%[10]
Forward caste 15% [34](Bhumihar -3%, Brahmin-5%,[35] Rajputs- 6%, Kayasth- 1%)
Adivasis(STs) 1.3% [36][37]
Others 0.4% (include Christians,Sikhs,Jains)

As per, 2011 Census of India , Scheduled Castes constitute 16% of Bihar's 104 million population.[38] The census identified 21 of 23 Dalit sub-castes as Mahadalits.[39] Mahadalit community consists of the following sub castes - Bantar, Bauri, Bhogta, Bhuiya, Chaupal, Dabgar, Dom (Dhangad), Ghasi, Halalkhor, Hari (Mehtar, Bhangi), Kanjar, Kurariar, Lalbegi, Musahar, Nat, Pan (Swasi), Rajwar, Turi, Dhobi, Pasi, Chamar and Paswan (Dusadh).[40] Paswan caste was initially left out of the Mahadalit category.[41][42] Adivasis (Scheduled Tribes) constitute around 1.3% of Bihar population.[43][44] Tribals include Gond, Santhal and Tharu communities in Bihar.[45][46]
Extremely Backward Class (EBCs) are also sometimes referred to as Most Backward Class(MBCs). There are 130-odd EBC castes in Bihar.

Yadavs and Kurmis constituting 19% and Muslims about 17% will solidly vote for the Lalu-Nitish alliance, which makes it 36%. Muslims will vote for it ( despite Owaisi, who is regarded as a BJP vote splitter by Muslims, and who will therefore not be misled by him ) because Muslims are feeling very insecure after love jihad, ghar wapasi, speeches of Adityanath, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti ( calling them haramzadas) and incidents like in Muzaffarnagar, Ballabhgarh, and the latest one at Dadri.. So they will solidly vote for the alliance.

A section of the other backward castes, say 8-10%, will also vote for the alliance, as Lalu has successfully described it as a fight between the backwards and the forward castes.

Thus the tally of the Nitish-Lalu aalliance comes to about 45% votes, which represents a sweep ( BJP got a majority in the Lok Sabha with only 31% votes )

As regards, the NDA, its support is from the upper castes, and a section of EBCs( also called MBCs ) and a section of dalits, because of Paswan, Manjhi and Upendra Kushwaha.

The upper castes in Bihar, as can be seen from the above chart, are altogether only 15%. Paswan does not have the support of all the dalits ( who are divided into a large number of sub castes) in Bihar, unlike Mayawati who has the support of almost all the dalits in U.P. So he may get the NDA about 6-7% votes. Manjhi may get 7-8% MBC votes, and Kushwaha may get 4%votes.

Thus the total tally of NDA votes is 15+7+8+4=32%
There is clearly going to be a sweep in favour of the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar


  1. Sir, I find it interesting to go through the pre-poll predictions made by you. But I still feel a little surprise over its mentioning in your blog. True, it is your right to express your opinion but keeping in view your status, it does not look nice that you too make out your estimates on the caste. If you had concluded as such, you might have kept it to your chest. Actually, Bihar needs development. We must find out a leader who can ensure development and we must emphasize upon that. India has already suffered a lot because of the castesim and Bihar amongst the northern states is the worst hit by this classification.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. You think Modi wave has been dissipated in Bihar, you have no clue about the present situation there.

    1. Change doesn't happen overnight and people of Bihar understand this.

    2.( BJP got a majority in the Lok Sabha with only 31% votes ) i.e factually incorrect, you have excluded the votes received by Paswan and Kushwaha, i.e 39% votes, now Manjhi has joined the coalition, traditional Nitish voters mahadalits will get behind with NDA this time, not all but majority of them. So in that 39% you may add minimum 5 or 6%, new total of nda votes 45%.

    3. Even single Modi rally is enough to give shivers to the Nitish-Laloo.

    4. You rightly said, development is not an agenda this time. People will cast their vote on caste lines.

    5. But Modi is the only guy who can change all the caste equations, not just change but rip off. And it was Modi's line 'I am obc too' that won the election for him in Bihar.

    6. You are so wrong about the yadav voters, they may vote NDA, not in block of couse, but even if 20-30% of them votes NDA, it will alter the normality.

    7. Unlike you I will not predict anything, but you are too conservative about the NDA chances and too liberal on Mahagathbandhan.

  4. Indirectly in 4th paragraph in this article its been said that Modi has not done anything and whatever he has done is not beneficial; at least he has done something. What we are doing? we are just sitting and commenting, if he can't do then who will do?
    Rahul Gandhi...I don't think so. We always look at the bad side not the good side.
    Let him do it because he is doing something good.

  5. I agree with One word in your whole article and that is 'Sweep'

    1. Advent of Grand Un-Alliance

      If ever there was a term to be invented as the antonym of alliance in electoral politics, now is the time as anti BJP forces have coalesced together in a huddle called maha-gathbandhan (Grand Alliance –GA) in Bihar. Normally, alliance means where the voters swearing allegiance to one party vote for another party in the same alliance when their own party is not in the fray in their constituency. This way the votes of the various parties get added up against a common rival and the help the alliance partners win the battle against the stronger parties/alliances. Had it not been for the stitching or unstitching of the alliances, the political history would have been totally different in India. These alliances add the votes not just arithmetically but the euphoria provided by the coming together of different interest groups creates the right environment to woo the other neutral interest groups as well.

    2. Coming to Bihar, it is a clear case of un-alliance. The negatives of the alliance partners add up rather than the positive ones. Nitish has allied with Lalu in the belief that it will bring his formidable Muslim-Yadav (M-Y) vote bank along with him. Lalu possibly thinks that this (M-Y), along with Nitish's track record of good governance, will give him a comfortable majority in certain constituencies. However, the reverse seems to be true.
      Imagine the options before a RJD’s core voter base, Yadav in the constituency where RJD candidate is not contesting because the seat has gone to its partner JD-U or Congress. This voter knows that come what may his preferred leader cannot be CM, his party candidate cannot be MLA as he is not contesting, thus, his voting for alliance helps the very party (JD-U) whom he has wanted to dethrone all through. Also, the rival candidate is not hostile but is the one who is wooing him (yaduvanshi) vigorously all through and whom he is not averse to. So, who should his close second preference candidate be? It has to be NDA? Add to this, the large section of post mandal yadav youth who is not that enamored of its chieftain Lalu, the chemistry of this Grand Alliance not just nullifies but exacerbates its arithmetic in the sense, that in the case of no alliance, a larger slice of this vote would have gone to RJD, not to the rival NDA

    3. Similarly, the options before JD-U voters. Who is JD-U voter? Kurmi, Muslims, EBC, Mahadalit, Good governance appreciating ones. The last one it loses easily to its rival BJP presenting it on a platter. Even if one appreciates the good governance (and riddance from Lalu’s Jungle Raj) by Nitish Babu and looks at him positively, does its present positioning with the very proponents of that Jungle Raj and against the ones (BJP) what was its backbone in that transition from Jungle Raj to Su-shasan, makes it the good alternative, especially when BJP / NDA is the in-thing and is perceived to be associated with development plank. BJP’s ticket distribution (in the spirit of its recognition of Bihar as Mandal Pradesh unlike the Kamandal “Uttar Pradesh”) and its alliance with HAM, LJP and RLSP offer the easy transition of EBC, Mahadalit to NDA camp. It facilitates it further when it is seen as the emerging victor. Who does not like to join the winning bandwagon unless it is chronically antagonistic (as is Muslim interest group) or extremely loyal to another party (Kurmi to a certain extent).

    4. Congress: Thinking of its situation here, I am reminded of a funny situation in 2014 Lok Sabha elections where a congress candidate from a western UP seat, (perhaps Noida/ Gautam Budh Nagar) quit the congress and joined BJP after the last date of withdrawal of name from the polls was over, thus asking the voters to vote against himself. That should have been the point of deep introspection in the grand old party. But then, every human being, every party, every organization, every kingdom, every civilization has its own life cycle.
      It is true that the Congress tried to inflict damage on its rival by sending Rahul Gandhi into exile but it seems to be too little too late to reverse something that has become inevitable.

    5. Add to this, a few more facts.
      (a) Attempt to neutralize certain anti NDA votes through third front, AIMIM etc
      (b) No love lost between the G-A partners and conflicting interest. Lalu’s interest lies more in finishing off Nitish and ensuring a better future for his family (which comes just by doing better than JD-U rather than defeating BJP) that Nitish’s coronation as CM.
      (c) The fact that both NDA and Lalu gain by defeating Nitish Kumar and finishing JD-U as a party makes easier for NDA
      (d) BJP’s, especially Amit Shah’s stupendous success in managing elections at the booth level as in UP (73/80) in 2014.

    6. So, on Nov 8, 2015, NDA victory in more than 200 seats should not come as a surprise. The surprise will be its win in less than 150 seats. The real loser will be Nitish and his main tormentor will be Lalu rather than Modi. Lalu will be quite happy in occupying the secular space and emerging as the messiah of Muslims and finishing off Nitish forever. Nitish is likely to fall flat between two stools of Casteism and Development and will fail to get the seats in double digit. His aligning with Lalu will be his undoing and presenting the development constituency on a platter to the NDA. Not to say, that by not doing so he would have won another term but he would have kept his credibility intact and occupied the opposition space which could have helped him in future. For the NDA, the counting starts from 40 (the number of the seats allocated to congress)

    7. So, some prediction about this election and its aftermath
      (a) There is no close contest as we often try to project. NDA is likely to get 140-220 seats (the broad band will get narrower with each passing day). This is the information age and the time of instant media (electronic and social) and there is a lot of dependence of voting tendencies unlike the past where voters voted in isolation. Thus, floating votes get added to the winning bandwagon easily and wave/tsunami gets created. However, we have been so tuned/ conditioned to thinking on the usual lines that we reject overwhelming figures instinctively.

      (b) JD-U reduced to a single digit. Nitish Kumar will gain the sympathy post election replacing Chandra Babu Naidu in Indian political history as the paradoxical figure that lost (humiliatingly) despite after delivering so well during his rule. Nitish will rue those two days (cancellation of Dinner for Modi in 2010 and breaking of alliance in 2013) in his political career when he tried to project him as anti modi face

      (c) Lalu emerges as the face of opposition in Bihar

      (d) Rahul takes congress not just another, but an important step closer to Mahatma Gandhi’s wish of congress mukt Bharat.

      (e) The large scale desertion from congress (may be some split) and other parties towards NDA in the rest of the country.

      (f) The surprise factor for UP assembly polls in 2017 dies in Nov. 2015 itself.

      Spolier for NDA: Any other statement (s) like the one on the reservation by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. It has the potential to change the whole game.

  6. The whole problem is there seems to be no better leader than Modi at the moment. He is able to still make me feel positive, provide some hope. We want some patriotic, talented, strong, hard working, honest leader. Unfortunately, even for benefit of doubt we cant see any other good futuristic leader. Modi atleast gives us some hope, so lets back him
    1. He won in gujrath continously
    2. Almost single handedly he won the election for BJP and became PM.
    3. He need not make money for his family.
    4. Seems to be hard working
    5. Have good Leadership qualities
    6. Have good Administrative qualities
    7. Very Good Speaker
    8. Patriotic
    9. Earned respect even abroad
    10. Trying to bring some investment and business to India.
    11. Motivating
    12. Have less bad habits
    Many more good qualities...
    After he became CM hardly any communal problems came to news from gujrath

  7. One of the serious issues India will be facing is during the time of the repatriation because of the FDI. Modi came to power with a slogan of "SWADESH" but off lately he turned us all to FDI coining it Make In India project....After Independence I believe it was only East India Company which left the Indian Territory and rest of the companies stayed back like ITC, Brooke Bond, Nestle and more and today we have 1000s of foriegn companies in retail market taking from cool drinks, textiles, electronic, automobiles etc...We work we spend ....they invest they earn it is as simple as it is....and which is straight opposite to the theory of Swadesh.... A patient can be treated by supplying blood but eventually he has to develop his own blood with in the body by having good food... the same way you cannot always depend upon FDI for the sake of development......