New Politics of Development

It does not come as a big surprise to learn that incumbent Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar from the JD (U) has returned to power with a landslide victory in the just concluded State Assembly election. What is even more convincing about Nitish Kumar’s victory is the wide acceptance across the political spectrum to his success as a Chief Minister. The work done by Nitish Kumar in the last five years as Bihar CM must be quite extraordinary as seen not only by the thumping win at the polls but also the public congratulation coming from the likes of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram. Usually after election, there are usually allegations of various kinds flying all around. However the acceptability of Nitish Kumar has been so enormous that no one, not even his biggest opponents, has any reason to discredit or question the poll results. This speaks volumes about the manner in which Nitish has been able to bring about a huge turnaround in Bihar—whether it is development or the improvement in law and order. And as has been widely reported in the national media, Nitish has been able to move away from the old ways of doing politics i.e. based on caste and religious equations. And in a way this is welcome development not only for Bihar but also for the politics of the country.
People are more and more moving away from vote bank politics. Even though politicians may continue to mobilize their support base through caste and religion, the voter is today more inclined towards good governance and development. The kind of the old politics played by people like Laloo Prasad Yadav has been a complete failure. Even the charisma of someone like Rahul Gandhi of the Congress failed to deliver. All this goes to show that voters are becoming more conscious about the need to elect capable and not necessarily popular leaders. It is becoming quite clear that caste or charisma without performance will not win you elections. Politicians should come to the realization soon that the so called ordinary voter/s is no longer willing to be taken for a ride. They are not going to be impressed by emotions or political talk. Voters are now more and more looking for capable leaders who can deliver development and a peaceful order. They don’t want promises. They demand results. The other significant trend of politics across the country as observed by the Morung Express over the last five years or so is the patience or tolerance shown by the voters. People are willing to give ample opportunity to promising leaders who can deliver. The proof of this can be seen in the numerous instances of Chief Ministers beating the anti-incumbency factor and returning to power. We have seen this with our own Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio. The CMs of Assam, Manipur, Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa etc. and now Bihar have all returned to power. At the Centre also we have seen this trend with Manmohan Singh retaining power under the UPA regime for a second term. The just concluded Bihar election should be a good time for our own politicians in Nagaland to do some serious introspection. Our politicians should fear and revere the people’s mandate.