Nitish wave sweeps Bihar in 2010
Nitish Kumar emerged as Bihar's newsmaker of the year as he led the NDA to a landslide victory in the assembly polls, dealing a death blow to Congress and RJD-LJP combine and decimating the caste-governed political dynamics of the state.india Updated: Dec 23, 2010 10:51 IST
Nitish Kumar emerged as Bihar's newsmaker of the year as he led the NDA to a landslide victory in the assembly polls, dealing a death blow to Congress and RJD-LJP combine and decimating the caste-governed political dynamics of the state.
Riding on the crest of development, Nitish pulled off an unprecedented three-fourth victory to return to power for the second consecutive term overcoming a brief controversy kicked off by his objections to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi campaigning for BJP in Bihar.
An angry Kumar returning Rs five crore donated by the Gujarat government for the Kosi flood victims in June soon after the national executive meeting of the BJP had fuelled speculation that it would hamper the electoral prospects of the NDA in Bihar.
But this did not happen as both BJP and JD-U agreed to continue with the 'old arrangement' wherein Modi would not campaign in the state.
A hostage crisis triggered by Maoists who kidnapped four policemen after killing eight others during a fierce gunbattle in Lakhisari district in August also kept the state in the news. The Maoists, who killed one of the captive policemen Lukas Tete, later released three policemen.
Kumar had offered to hold talks with the ultras and even expressed readiness to provide them safe passage.
The Maoists also shot dead 11 villagers, set ablaze about 30 houses and kidnapped at least a dozen persons in a midnight raid at Fulwari village in Jamui district in February.
But it was Nitish all the way.
Buried in his wave was not only former chief minister Rabri Devi, but also state LJP president Pashupati Kumar Paras, brother of Ram Vilas Paswan, and state Congress chief Choudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser, besides several RJD-LJP stalwarts.
The run-up to the elections saw a war of words between Congress and NDA leaders.
Kumar blamed the Centre for the backwardness of Bihar during the election campaign targeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.
On the one hand, Congress leaders targeted the NDA government for not properly utilising funds for development schemes and corruption in Centrally-sponsored schemes like MNREGA and Indira Awas Yojana.
The NDA government, on the other hand, blamed the Centre for not accepting the state government’s plea that over 1.5 crore families were living below the poverty line and asked the Centre to release foodgrain and kerosene oil to 1.5 crore BPL families instead of just 65 lakh under the category.
First Published: Dec 23, 2010 10:46 IST