When Nitish Kumar took the reins of a wayward and unorganized Bihar in his Hands, it was a miraculous event. It was the fall of an impregnable fortress of Lalu’s RJD. The people of Bihar had invested every penny of their trust in this man called Nitish Kumar who was projected to be the miracle man even before he started his stint as the CM of Bihar. He, along with the BJP had successfully destroyed the tried and tested caste equations of Lalu Prasad Yadav. After decades of lawlessness, people of Bihar were looking at a new dawn. They were hopeful. The hope hasn’t died yet but isn’t as strong as it was in 2005. Bihar is looking forward to yet another elections but the tides have turned. The same Nitish Kumar is helping Lalu Prasad Yadav build his castle. Caste based equations and segregation of the voters in different caste profiles has again become the trending news on mainstream media.
Also many resident and non-resident Biharis are of the opinion that the growth in Bihar retarded ever since JDU snapped ties with the Bhartiya Janata Party. But BJP seems to be playing safe. They have attacked Nitish Kumar of being a fake secular and also for siding with the RJD, riding on whose anti-incumbency votes, JDU made it to the hallowed gallerias of Bihar Vidhan Sabha. But BJP is yet to launch an all-out attack on Nitish Kumar and his ‘Bihar Model’ of progress. Of course BJP and JDU were allies in Bihar and hence attacking the JDU directly may turn into a self-goal but the ‘fact’ that growth retarded in Bihar as soon as BJP was shown the exit doors could have been a solid poll pitch.
Here are some interesting numbers that prove that the “Vikas ki Ganga” is now flowing in the opposite direction in Bihar:
- Bihar’s economic growth fell from 15.05 per cent in 2012-13 to 8.82 per cent in 2013-14. That’s a drop of 6.63% in a year
- Bihar was the fastest growing state with its gross state domestic product growing at 14.15 per cent before falling to about 9 per cent. That’s a drop of 5.15% in a year.
- Investment proposals received fell from Rs 20,000 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 2,290 crore in 2013-14 and Rs 657 crore in 2014. Let us not even get into the numbers here.
- There has been a 21 per cent rise in rape cases and a 16 per cent rise in kidnapping cases from 2012 to 2013
- Number of Communal incidents rose from 9,768 in 2011 to 13,566 in 2014
- In 2011-12, 22,575 new school toilets and 1,521 Anganwadi toilets were made, which in 2013-14 fell to 5,076 and 1,437
Source: Indian Express
All these numbers bring me to this golden question. Was Nitish Kumar falsely credited for Bihar’s development, was it BJP that brought the turnaround in Bihar. The numbers, the sudden decline in progress and the general hopelessness testify this notion. BJP was magnanimous enough to give its junior ally JDU more seats to contest in last assembly elections and even after an impressive show in the elections, it gave Nitish Kumar the chance to become the CM of Bihar. Sushil Kumar Modi switched to the role of an unsung hero and happily stayed in the background.
N K Singh, a favorite of Vajpayee worked for Nitish as the advisor. It was his ideas that Nitish simply implemented including cash distribution for buying cycles for girls, focus on building roads etc. Sushil Kumar Modi took care of key portfolios and dealt with the bureaucrats. Nitish Kumar simply basked in the glory of his “Sushashan Babu” image.
Nitish Kumar lacks the courage and even zeal to take risky decisions something that is the USP of hardened BJP leaders. Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Raman Singh, Manohar Parrikar are all known for their risk taking abilities and they have been at the forefront of development stories in their states. A person like Nitish Kumar who ‘plays safe’ can maintain well but developing something from scratch needs entrepreneurial skills, dedication and risk taking abilities. When Nitish Kumar was with the BJP, he came across as a no-nonsense man who never indulged in discussions without doing his homework first. The Nitish Kumar of today is disarrayed, fatigued and a man on a self-destruction mission.
Humility is a virtue and the greatest challenge after a major accomplishment is not going all gaga about it but when humility crosses a certain threshold it becomes submission. BJP by not bursting Nitish’s developmental myths is simply submitting to it. If the gauges around are indeed true then Nitish will be routed in this elections and probably crawl to a political oblivion but BJP mustn’t let him evaporate without snatching their hard-earned treasures of accomplishments.