As the election dates draw closer in Bihar, it is time for the various political parties to take a realistic view of their poll line-ups. It is needless to mention that the BJP is right at the centre of attention. Everyone from the common man to erudite and experience psephologists, it is the BJP’s fate that most are looking out at. Will it be successful in garnering the required seats? Would it be able to handle the pressure of coalition partners? Would alliances prove to its undoing yet again at the state level?
Given its debacle during its previous attempt in Bihar and the long drawn out mud-slinging in Karnataka, it is but obvious that these questions bother the Bharatiya Janata Party and its observers have their guns trained on the overall results.
I must say that at least for starters, BJP has gotten its maths right? It has understood the necessity of limiting the number of alliances who contest from their seats, especially after the debacle in Karnataka, where almost half the assembly seats were given away to the alliance parties and their contestants. It must be mentioned that the BJP has indeed understood the virtue of not succumbing to pressures from the parties it has forged alliances beyond a point. If we see the progress of events in the 1990s, the BJP bent backwards to accommodate the whims of the likes of Nitish Kumar or George Fernandes or RK Hegde and thereby delayed its ascent as a force to reckon with at the state level.
This time on the picture is quite different. It is a cohesive election campaign by the BJP centred around PM Narendra Modi. Instead of wasting their time and energy in looking for regional forces, they have decided to play to their strengths. Their understanding with the alliance parties too is no longer on an ad-hoc basis. The seat settlement is done well in advance and care has been taken to ensure that the larger share of seats continues to remain with them.
So will the BJP emerge as the single largest party and be able to form Govt in Bihar? Guess we need to wait for the final verdict, the election results.