2019 Lok Sabha polls are around the corner and battle lines have already been drawn. The political spectrum is clearly divided between BJP and pro-BJP/ pro-Modi factions on one side and the pseudo seculars and the Modi baiters on the other side. Bihar is one of the states that will play a crucial role in the 2019 elections. The state with highest population density sends 40 members to the Lok Sabha thereby playing a critical role. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, NDA had swept the state with the BJP-LJP-RLSP combine winning 31 seats of out of 40 seats in Bihar. However, this time around the BJP-led NDA seems poised to make even better electoral gains in the state of Bihar. As Nitish Kumar led JD (U) has joined the NDA, its prospects in the state have got a shot in the arm.
The electoral equations in the state of Bihar are totally in favour of the NDA. For starters, all factions within the NDA boast of strong and firm leadership. While Sushil Modi is undisputed leader of Bihar BJP unit, RSLP and LJP posses strong leadership in Upendra Kushwaha and Ram Vilas Paswan respectively. Similarly, chief minister Nitish Kumar is in complete control of JD (U). With such strong leadership one can expect a well organised and co-ordinated campaign by NDA in the state which will send opponents in the state packing.
The NDA also has a well structured social engineering in its favour. The BJP has a voter base among the upper castes as the party along with its allies polled 56% of the total upper caste votes in the last Lok Sabha polls and non-Yadav Other Backward Classes (OBCs) across India, as displayed during the UP assembly elections last year. This will definitely translate into massive support in Bihar. Similarly, Nitish Kumar has hold of Kurmi and EBC votes in Bihar. Nitish Kumar is also popular as the chief minister of Bihar and is bound to bring greater vote share for the NDA in Bihar. Similarly, Ram Vilas Paswan has sway of Dalits and Mahadalits in the state of Bihar. While the opposition will be adamant on painting the NDA as an anti-Dalit coalition, his presence will prevent the opposition from doing that in the state. Lastly, Kushwaha’s popularity among Kushwahas and other OBCs in the state will help the NDA accentuate its voting share in the state. This is excellent social engineering for the coalition in the state as almost every social group in the state finds its voice in one or the other NDA partners in the state.
NDA has an excellent chance of a clean sweep winning from all 40 seats this time around not only because of the extraordinary ability of the NDA parties but also because of the poor state of affairs among the opposition parties. The less said about the Congress is better. It is going down in stature with every passing election. The RJD is also facing declining fortunes in Bihar. With Lalu already in jail the party lacks potent leadership. Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav are involved in infighting over leadership of the party. While Tej Pratap has proved to be incompetent, Tejashwi has virtually no experience. Therefore, the NDA when put against such a weak opposition is bound to score a clean sweep in the state of Bihar in 2019.