Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Bihar: Caste politics to the fore

Source : Merinews

ALL IS set for Bihar elections on Thursday (May 7). It will be a test of a real caste leader during the contest for three main seats at Patliputra, Patna and Nalanda.
I remember, during the 1990 Assembly elections, when at about 4 p.m. during the day, Shot Gun Shatrugan Sinha was with AB Vajpaee in Patna at the famous Gandhi Maidan asking for votes for local Patna Central candidate, Shushil Modi. During late in the evening Sinha was seen asking for votes in favour of a caste specific leader in Kankarbagh.
Bhumihars have not forgotten Sinha’s tricks to defame and removing their tallest leader from state - Dr CP Thakur from the central Cabinet, and the 2004 defeat.
I remember, during 1994, world famous Kurmi Maharally in Patna, which made Nitish Kumar to revolt against Lalu Prasad Yadav. At that time the kingmaker was Satish Kumar. This time Satish Kumar is fighting for his survival and trying his best to prove that.
He is a real Kurmi of Nalanda against a handpicked a ‘umcommon’ man from Nalanda – a symbol of Nitish increasing power but Kurmis in Nalanda seem to be divided on sub-caste basis.
Who can forget the brain behind Lalu Prasad – Ranjan Yadav. In the year 2000 Lalu gave 50 plus Assembly tickets to Ranjan Yadav. Unfortunately, many of them lost unless today we could have said - Ranjan Yadav, an Ex-CM. This Ranjan Yadav’s gameplan made Lalu show Ranjan who the real lion is.

Lalu never promoted Patna-based Yadavs. His politics’ biggest victim is Patna’s most famous leader, Ram Kripal Yadav. Leaders like Shayam Rajak, Jay Prakash Narayan, Akhilesh Singh, etc. hold more power than Ram Kripal Yadav in the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) while the whole world knows that Ram Kripal Yadav was one of most visible MPs in last Lok Sabha.

So, this last phase is a battle of proving themselves – the Leaders of their respective caste: First, Ranjan Yadav or Lalu Prasad – Patliputra; Second, Shekhar Suman or Shatrughan Sinha – Patna; and Third, Nitish Kumar or Satish Kumar – Nalanda.


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