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Bihar Assembly Elections Oct-nov 2005
Lets put the post Bihar election results news and analysis in this thread.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Fatal shift for Congress

Nov. 22: The Congress has two private views on the Bihar result. One, which is possibly more public than private, holds that the defeat was a “blessing in disguise”. The truly private opinion — of senior leaders — is that it will have far-reaching consequences for the UPA’s longevity.

First, the Bihar outcome is a setback to Sonia Gandhi, the UPA chief, who failed to bring the warring alliance partners, Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan, together. Her strategy to shift — between February and November — from Paswan to Lalu Prasad, as the poll ally in Bihar, has proved to be a fatal error.

Other than keeping the Congress the minor player it has become in the state, it may have made it easier for the NDA to post a landslide victory. In retrospect, it would seem Sonia was right in going with Paswan in February as it helped divide the anti-incumbency, or anti-Lalu, votes. By tying up with Lalu, the Congress might have ensured consolidation of anti-Lalu votes.

Sonia was repeatedly advised to hold a meeting with Lalu and Paswan and do some plain-speaking. But she dithered. A section of her advisers told her that it was not prudent to “interfere” in the internal matters of other political parties.

Those favouring a stronger line had counselled her that she should stick to her position of presenting a united face of the UPA. Digvijay Singh, the AICC general secretary in charge of Bihar, twice suggested the exit of Paswan from the Union cabinet, but the proposal was summarily rejected.

The question is already being asked what she would do — turn a blind eye to or “interfere” — if her allies in Tamil Nadu, such as the DMK, PMK and MDMK, clash.

Sonia’s choice of point man for Bihar, too, showed a degree of uncertainty. She dropped the Arjun Singh-Makhan Lal Fotedar combine when middle-rung party leaders targeted the “old and jaded” faces of the party. Digvijay was repeatedly heard referring to the laws of nature: “Old leaves should pave the way for new ones.”

The result in Bihar has shown that in politics, younger age is neither a sufficient condition for success nor a proof of acumen.

Some Congress leaders were gloating over the verdict, claiming that the party had got rid of the “baggage of Lalu” and combining it with the bravado that the country’s oldest party would stand on its own to usher in a new era.

Judging by the experience of Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, Sonia knows it is nearly impossible to bounce back. She is also aware that similar words were pronounced about Uttar Pradesh when the Congress had gone alone in February 2002.

After those Assembly polls, she was going through the results and her reading glasses nearly dropped when she realised that as many as 335 out of 402 party nominees had forfeited deposits.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Even Lalu’s poor look for an alternative

Pandrah Saal

Bura haal

Naya Bihar

Nitish Kumar

(Fifteen years/Grief & tears/For a New Bihar/Nitish Kumar.)

The NDA slogans, it would appear, struck a chord with the electorate who decided to give an emphatic mandate to the man promising them a better Bihar.

In sharp contrast, Lalu Prasad appeared to be caught in a time warp, confining his campaign against “communal forces” and a perceived conspiracy to dislodge him from power.

The spectre had worked in the past. But whatever credibility he had was lost in his feeble defence that no development was possible earlier because of Delhi’s step-motherly treatment. With the UPA government at the Centre and he himself in the railway ministry, Lalu Prasad sought to reassure his voters, the time had come for development.

The NDA mandate is remarkable for more than one reason. First, because even at the peak of his popularity, Lalu Prasad had never secured anything like this. The highest number of seats he could garner was 163 in 1995 when Jharkhand was a part of the state and the strength of the Assembly was 324 and not 243.

In February, the first election after the creation of Jharkhand, he won only 75. Nine months later, he has failed to hold on to even that.

Second, pre-poll wisdom was that with polling being low, victory margins would be relatively small. While many constituencies have seen victories by wafer-thin margins ranging between 500 and 2,000 and odd, most NDA candidates appear to have romped home far more convincingly. The margin of their victory at Ghosi was 30,000, even higher at 45,000 in Harnaut and 25,000 in Biharsharif.

In contrast, the Lalu Prasad-Congress alliance has bagged several constituencies by a whisker. In Lakhisarai, it won by just 82 votes while it was only marginally better at Kesaria (400 votes) and in Jehanabad (447).

Drawing lessons from the February debacle, Lalu Prasad made an effort this time to pick better candidates. But, clearly, it was too little, too late. Even the rainbow coalition of MY (Muslim-Yadav) did not work in his favour.

“It was an FMY coalition,” says Ali Anwar, a leader of the Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz, which had lent its weight behind victorious Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), explaining that only “forward castes among Muslims” and the Yadavs gained from Lalu-Rabri rule.

At least some sections of the pasmanda (backward) Muslims, he believes, voted against Lalu Prasad this time. The Yadavs, too, he points out, voted against Lalu Prasad wherever the NDA put up better Yadav candidates. That would explain the defeat of Udit Rai in Chhapra, Chandrika Rai in Parsa and Avadh Behari Choudhary in Siwan. These were the regions where Lalu Prasad had expected to win around 10 seats. His final tally is said to be two.

Tactical voting by the upper castes is also cited as a factor responsible for the dramatic result. Whenever the choice was between two OBC candidates, the upper castes rallied around the NDA. Most Backward Castes and the Extremely Backward Classes, till now supporting Lalu Prasad en bloc, also developed cracks. The Koeris (OBC), ignored by Lalu Prasad, appear to have hit back with a vengeance, leading to the defeat of a Koeri stalwart like Shakuni Choudhary.

A veteran observer of Bihar politics and social activist, Vinayan, recalls: “The village I work in has a substantial Yadav population, but this time even I failed to persuade them to go out and vote. An old lady told me that a victory for Lalu made no difference to her as she would still have to scrounge for food.”

His constituency, Lalu Prasad often boasted, was the poor. The result would indicate a revolt by the poor, who somewhat incongruously aligned with the haves to deliver a drubbing. Little wonder Lalu Prasad finds the result so hard to swallow.

“My constituents were deceived and taken for a ride,” he declared on Tuesday afternoon, barely able to conceal his disappointment. “Give them two months and they will realise the mistake they have committed,” he asserted, looking increasingly like King Lear.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->RJD faces test of survival

Patna, Nov. 22: The biggest challenge before the Rashtriya Janata Dal after today’s debacle is to ensure the party, built around a family, does not disintegrate.

With chief minister-to-be Nitish Kumar under pressure to take action against RJD loyalists, the party’s fate will also depend on how the new government goes about dealing with the earlier regime’s perceived omissions and commissions. If a witch-hunt is launched, it will further demoralise the ranks.

Used to enjoying the fruits of power for 15 years, it remains to be seen how Lalu Prasad keeps his starving associates happy with his reduced strength of distributing favours.

The RJD, which has lost 21 seats since February, also has to fight the perception that its appeal has become restricted to Yadavs and Muslims.

“We understand that negativism — attacking everyone, from our opponents to the Election Commission — had become the hallmark of the RJD in the recent past. We were taken by surprise by the trashing of our anti-communalism stand by the electorate. We perhaps failed to address the real issues and by the time we tried to control the damage, it was already too late,” a senior RJD politician said.

That the BJP, projected as a threat to secularism by Lalu Prasad, won a seat more than the RJD only adds to its troubles. During the election campaign, the BJP had steered clear of Hindutva and the results appear to bear out its contention that development was the issue.

But the RJD continued with its “negativism” and Lalu Prasad alleged that poor voters were chased away from polling booths by central forces. Taking the cue, MP Ram Kripal Yadav said the party’s Muslim-Yadav base was being victimised by “vested interests”.

The party now appears to be taking comfort in the slender margin of defeat of many of its candidates. “We went down fighting. That goes to show that we can storm back to power when the time comes,” Yadav said.

But the blame game might have begun. A leader recalled how Mohd. Shahabuddin, till recently Bihar’s most wanted absconder, was projected as the RJD’s tallest minorities leader against the wishes of a large section of the party.

The meteoric rise of Lalu Prasad’s brothers-in-law Sadhu and Subhash Yadav is another sore point. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Losers’ dilemma: How to keep flock together Paswan has some reasons to celebrate
A Dal (U) supporter releases pigeons outside the state party office in Patna on Tuesday. (Right) Paswan. (PTI)

Patna, Nov. 22: Lalu Prasad today wisely refrained from blaming cabinet colleague Ram Vilas Paswan for the electoral debacle; political circles, however, suspect he got his good friend Sitaram Yechury to demand Paswan’s exit from the Union cabinet for splitting secular votes in Bihar.

How much damage was eventually inflicted by Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) will not be known till the full results come in.

The LJP had put up over 200 candidates and its ally CPI 35.

While they eventually managed to win only 10 and three seats, respectively, a detailed analysis of votes secured by each of their candidates and the victory margins alone would indicate how much the Lalu Prasad front bled because of the Union steel minister’s political adventurism.

Paswan, of course, has the satisfaction of seeing Lalu Prasad cut down to size but while succeeding in fulfilling one part of his mission, the LJP leader failed to keep his pledge of keeping BJP out of power.

His public promise of installing a Muslim as the next chief minister, too, remained unfulfilled as he sought solace today in RJD’s ouster.

While it is by no means certain that the result would have been different if Paswan had agreed to be a part of the Lalu Prasad front, the Dalit leader can also derive satisfaction from the large crowds that his public meetings attracted during the campaign.

Even in terms of votes, the party claims to have secured between 10 and 15 per cent votes, which, if true, is substantial for a fringe party.

Not all is lost for Paswan, it would seem, in case he is planning a long-haul in Bihar.

“The party’s poor showing could also be a result of the stress on having a Muslim as chief minister. We are not certain how our insistence on this issue was received by the people but when things go bad, they really go bad,” claimed a disappointed LJP leader Satish Kumar.

LJP leaders do not expect Paswan to be dropped from the cabinet. Not only because the UPA requires a Dalit voice in Bihar, explain LJP leaders, “but also because our leader always took Sonia Gandhi into confidence and explained his reasons for the anti-RJD stand”.

Paswan’s primary worry, however, would be to keep his flock together. Last time, 18 of his 29 elected members defected to the Dal (United). This time, too, barring his own brother Pashupati Paras and one or two others, few of his elected members seem to owe any personal allegiance to him.

The nature of his rag- tag party became apparent when one of the four LJP MPs, Ranjeeta Ranjan, campaigned for the RJD this time. Who knows for whom the LJP MLAs will campaign next?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Real Politik is difficult to predict.

Hope Nitish Kumar doesn't believe in 'do din ki chandani phir andheri raat'.

Being a qualified engineer, first thing he should do is to get the moribund state machinery at least begin operating.

Hire<b> KPS Gill </b>as state internal security advisor to clean up criminal + politicans + police nexus. <!--emo&:angry:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/mad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='mad.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Bihar back in picture
<b>Back in the picture</b>

<i>Will the new politics survive, will the old economy change, and what on earth will Rabri Devi do now?</i>


Ashok Malik Two days before the Bihar assembly election results, Nitish Kumar was at a dinner in Delhi, still answering questions from doubting Thomases about why he felt so confident — quietly confident, as befits the man’s understated demeanour — of victory.

Finally, exasperated and allowing himself a hint of a smile, Nitish broke his silence, ‘‘Arre bhai I agree there has been some MY consolidation, but there are others who vote also ... Don’t non-MYs vote?’’

Having made his point, he threw his head back and said, almost wistfully, ‘‘I have no complaints. The Election Commission did a good job, all our grievances were addressed. This election has been a genuine test of popularity — if Laloo wins he is more popular, if we win we are more popular. There will be no scope for doubt.’’

A little later the same evening, Sushil Modi — BJP leader and Nitish’s ally in Bihar — silenced another interrogator keen to know the difference between the February and November elections. ‘‘The mood for change,’’ replied Sushil, ‘‘was strong, very strong.’’

The two politicians were to prove prophetic. Between them they had spelt out the three reasons that made the difference in Bihar this time. They even named the final tally: ‘‘140 plus’’.

So it turned out to be, thanks to the arithmetic of caste coalition building, the rigorous physical framework laid out by the EC — and the chemistry of change in a society yearning to move on.

In Laloo’s defeat Bihar has made the journey to post-Mandalism. Caste is still important, OBC empowerment is still a dominant theme — Nitish, after all, is a Kurmi — but no longer can ‘‘Backward assertion’’ be seen as synonymous with Yadav raj and substitute for proactive government.

Laloo, the Mandal movement’s poster boy, had started to think of himself as the whole poster. He’s been shaken out of his time warp — much like his mustachioed man Friday who told NDTV 24x7 at 9 am on Tuesday, ‘‘Hum dus baje ka baad jeetenge, jab gaon ka vote gina jayega (We’ll win after 10 am, when the rural votes are counted).’’

In a sense, this election welcomes Bihar back to India. In the years after the decline of the Congress, state after state went through a chaotic interlude before settling into a sort of bipolarity. From Tamil Nadu to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh to Kerala, Indian states are increasingly two-party — or two-alliance — battlegrounds.

<span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>
This political fragmentation after the fake Mandalism/social justice movement had weakened the center for over 15 years. The unstable center could not handle the growing threats from TSP and China in the 90s</span>

Bipolarity — as opposed to menacing monopoly or messy multipolarity — lends itself to relative stability, keeps governments under watch and curbs the space for blackmailing ‘‘third forces’’ who jump from one ship to the other.

The two states that spent the 1990s resolutely resisting the natural evolution towards a bipolar system were Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. With this election, Bihar has ended its boycott. Two coalitions centred on individual core groups — Yadavs for the RJD; non-Yadav OBCs and the upper caste for the BJP — have demonstrated a certain sustaining power.

If they continue to define the Bihar polity — such as it is — the state could be far more pacific than the imminent ‘‘caste wars’’ direly predicted by Congress cronies on DD News right through Tuesday.

Are there larger, national implications of the Bihar election? For a start, the NDA is back in business, having conquered a state where it was a write-off a year ago. That the alliance remained intact despite 18 months out of power — even if Congress functionaries were happily planting stories all of this past winter about how ‘‘Nitish could join the UPA’’ — indicates its resilience.

If obituaries of the NDA were obviously overstated, the UPA needs to concoct a new elixir for itself. True, the government at the Centre is in no danger. Yet, Ram Vilas Paswan will now be Laloo’s — and the CPI(M)’s — fall guy and probably be turfed out of the ruling alliance. Junior allies will get more prickly. A bolstered NDA — particularly the very vocal JD(U) contingent in the Lok Sabha — is going to be rampant.

The biggest problem will be that of the Left. No longer can it afford the luxury of being the UPA’s in-house opposition. ‘‘Fascist forces’’ have captured the ultimate citadel of ‘‘secularism’’. It is the NDA that will now lead the attack on the government, and play the real opposition. Prakash Karat’s phoney war is over.

At the back of its mind, however, the Left will not be thinking of Bihar 2005 as much as West Bengal 2006. As a senior IAS officer in Patna stressed, the EC’s arrangements this time were designed to negate ‘‘scientific rigging’’.

For the first time, Central paramilitary forces didn’t just patrol a district generally but actually manned booths. <b>Two and a half million ‘‘bogus voters’’ were removed from the rolls.</b> The EC requisitioned army and air force helicopters for aerial surveillance.

‘‘It was almost exciting for the voter,’’ said the civil servant, ‘‘to vote under the security of a Punjab commando. He felt that much more confident that his vote would count ... This triggered the mood for change, so much so that by the third and fourth phases, even the bureaucracy felt it.’’

<b>The only people who didn’t sense the ‘‘mood for change’’ were, of course, Delhi’s election tourists, the ‘‘national’’correspondents who happily reported a ‘‘kaante ki takkar’’. On the contrary, among those who did sense change were election observers from West Bengal. As one of them confessed to a Bihar cadre colleague, ‘‘If the EC insists on similar measures in West Bengal in May 2006, heaven knows ...’’</b>

<b>From the land of Gautam Buddha to the land of Chief Minister Buddha, how far can the EC’s dogged struggle for a foolproof election make it a catalyst for change? We’ll know next summer. For the moment, grant Nitish his nirvana.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Bihar pins hope on Nitish Kumar

Navin Upadhyay/ New Delhi

BJP one up on RJD--- It is the dawn of a new era in Bihar. An era of hope and resurgence, an era whose foundation will be laid on the ruins of caste and communal politics, an era ushered in by a verdict whose impact will send tremors in the corridors of power in New Delhi.

In the place of a man whose social engineering pushed Bihar into the pit of chaos and backwardness, the State will now have a mechanical engineer in Nitish Kumar, who faces the unenviable task of carrying the burden of Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav's dubious legacy.

Mr Nitish Kumar is likely to be sworn in as the Chief Minister in Patna on Thursday. He is leaving for Patna on Wednesday where a meeting of NDA MLAs will formally elect him as their leader, sources close to him said here. He will be sworn in with a 12-member Cabinet.

The BJP has appointed senior leaders Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley as central observers for its Bihar Legislature Party meeting in Patna on Wednesday.

In the election, the second in nine months, forced by a premature dissolution of the 243-member Assembly, the Nitish Kumar led-NDA bagged 143 seats, 21 more than the halfway mark of 122. Mr Kumar's JD-U won 88 seats and the BJP 55 seats against 55 and 37 won respectively, in the February elections which had thrown up a hung verdict, President's rule and the consequent dissolution. The RJD has won 54 seats and the Congress nine.
The NDA's decisive mandate has taken the State out of the primeaval 'lalten age' and sent an unmistakable message that in the long run, emotive appeals cannot override the common man's concern for bijli, sadak and pani.</b> The voters of the much-maligned State have shown remarkable maturity in ending the resurrection of regime that had all these years thrived on widening the social divide and fear of communal persecution.

In his last moments before his demise, a Lalu-watcher cannot fail to recall his advent into politics as a soldier of JP's Sampoorn Kranti, which had given a clarion call to break the barriers of caste and shape a new Bihar.

But after coming to power, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav betrayed the spirit of the JP Movement and went on to exploit the caste hysteria generated by Mandal politics. Equating caste with class, he mobilised the poor behind him under the banner of his brand of 'Social Justice'.<i><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>
This fake movement of social justice supported by the lefty media and secular/left parties kept the country under ransom and unstability</i></span>

As he bows out of power, few among Bihar's poor will shed any tears for him.

The writing was on the wall, but when the results finally began to trickle in, even the NDA leaders were shocked. At best, the NDA camp was expecting a razor-thin majority, and at worst a hung Assembly where they have to woo independents and smaller parties to cobble together a coalition government. The one-sided nature of the verdict arrived at by the most free and fair poll held in 15 years, will, among other things, revive debates on the misuse of bureaucracy, the police, and muscle-power which had been used to rig elections in the past.

The rejection of Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav by the taken-for-granted voters of the Muslim-Yadav combine is the real story of the Bihar verdict. The pattern of results clearly establishes that voters of the MY combine have dumped Mr Yadav. And that more than anything else should be a humbling lesson for the RJD supremo who never for a minute believed that the Muslims and Yadavs were as desperate to get rid of his regime as any other person of Bihar. Till late Monday night, Mr Yadav was telling journalists in Patna that his MY combine was intact and with the help of EBC voters he would be able to get at least 120-130 seats.

The outcome of Raghopur, from where former chief minister Rabri Devi, just managed to scrape through conclusively underlines this erosion of Mr Yadav's core support base. That Rabri Devi trailed for the better part of counting before holding on to her seat from a Yadav-dominated segment, clearly shows that even Mr Yadav's own castemen did not stand behind him in his moment of crisis.

If Rabri Devi had a tough time in Raghopur, then the voters of her husband's parliamentary constituency Chhapra, once again a Yadav-domain taught him a similar lesson by routing the RJD. On the contrary, people of Nalanda reposed their faith in their MP Nitish Kumar, and voted decisively for the NDA. The alliance won all the eight seats from the district.

That caste barriers were breaking was evident in central Bihar, which has been known as the flaming fields. During the last 15 years, this area south of Ganga witnessed numerous caste killings. The situation became so grim and unmanageable in 1998 that the NDA Government even dismissed the Rabri Government and imposed President rule in the State.

Mr Yadav's last hope was pinned on Koshi, Purnea and Simanchal regions where the Yadavs and Muslims were numerically so powerful that had the MY combine remained intact, Mr Yadav could have won each and every seat. But here, too, the NDA handed him a humiliating defeat. What would be more galling for Mr Yadav is the fact that several BJP candidates won from Muslim-dominated segments of Simanchal.

The RJD was able to somehow escape with minor losses in Mithilanchal because of a host of local factors.The Muslims had all along looked disenchanted and ignored the RJD supremo's desperate attempts to whip up passion with advertisements asking them to be ready to leave the State if the BJP came to power.

The RJD still managed to get a good chunk of the Muslim votes, but the LJP and the JD (U) made major dents into this as well. Unlike in the past, when the Muslims voted aggressively to keep the BJP out of power, the minority community was openly talking of the need for change. Mr Yadav's setback in the Muslim-dominated Simanchal regions of Kishanganj, Katihar and Araria shows that barriers have finally broken in Bihar.

The results show that both the BJP and the Janata Dal (U) have done equally well. While Nitish Kumar's early projection as the NDA chief ministerial candidate went a long way in wooing the extremely backward caste voters, the BJP was successful in consolidating its upper caste votes. Both alliance partners were able to transfer their core support base into mutual gain. The BJP leaders would be able to silence their critics who were saying that the party would not be able to improve upon its tally of 39.

Like Mr Yadav, Ramvilas Paswan also emerged a major loser. But then the Paswan camp all along knew that it had no realistic chance of retaining its tally of 29 seats. Despite their poor performance, the smile on Mr Paswan's face made it clear that more than making a Muslim the chief minister of Bihar, he was interested in ending the reign of Lalu-Rabri Raj. Mr Paswan has no qualms in admitting, "he was satisfied with the verdict claiming that his vote percentage had increased and he had achieved his vow to prevent revival of the RJD rule."

To be fair to Mr Paswan, despite losing his flock to the NDA after the February polls and going alone in the just-concluded polls, he has been able to gain 12 per cent votes. His presence helped the NDA because the LJP had fielded a large number of Muslim and Yadav candidates.

The RJD' s rout has been across the State. It was battered in its traditional strongholds and wiped out in regions where the NDA was already a force to reckon with. Most former ministers of the Rabri Devi Government lost the elections.

The outcome of the Bihar verdict may not destabilise the UPA in the short term, but the blame games have already begun. While Lalu Prasad Yadav avoided naming Mr Paswan for spoiling the party for him, the CPI (M) has said the time has come to debate on Mr Paswan's continuation at the Centre. The CPI, which contested the election with Mr Paswan, has strongly backed him with party general secretary AB Bardhan claiming that any action against Mr Paswan will begin the process of disintegration of the UPA.

The result is a major setback for the Congress as well. The party could not retain its tally of 10 seats, and even PCC president and former speaker Sadanand Singh, who had represented Kahalgaon seven times, lost to JD(U)'s Ajay Mandal.

As Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav travels into the sunset of a momentous phase of his political journey, he will hope that his extinguished lantern will guide him across the uncertain future ahead.

Today is a day of victory. I have no grouse against anybody. He (Lalu) is senior to me and like my elder brother - Nitish Kumar

Victory and defeat keep coming in politics. I feel relieved... The people of Bihar gave us 15 years to rule and now they will test those who have promised to banish crime in three months and create an environment to stop flight of labour and students outside. - Lalu Prasad Yadav

I believe that Nitish Kumar's performance as Union Minister gave the NDA campaign a credibility that there will be dynamism and honesty in a government led by him - LK Advani

The results have proved that people of Bihar want governance, rule of law and development. You just cannot fool people all the time - Arun Jaitley
<b>Gentlemen :</b>


Laloo is caught on camera trying to practice the nefarious act of Pick Pocketing.

Can one of you name the intended victim?

Thanks in advance

P.S. I am unable to paste this image - any guidance please?

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
chandeasekar, the one time wannabe PM
He WAS PM--for a little while !
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>NDA victory in Bihar bad news: Basu</b>
Press Trust of India
Posted online: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 at 1905 hours IST

Kolkata, November 22: CPM patriarch Jyoti Basu on Tuesday attributed NDA alliance’s victory in Bihar Assembly polls to division of ‘secular’ forces and regretted that CPI, which had aligned with Ramvilas Paswan-led LJP, could not come together with CPM in a pre-poll alliance with RJD-led front.

“We (secular forces) could not unite. Even CPI and CPM could not come together (in a pre-poll alliance with RJD),” Basu said blaming the division among secular forces as a contributory factor for the sweep of JD(U)-BJP combine in the Bihar Assembly election.
Sure worried about EC in WB.
Where is ramana these days? Would like to hear his take on all this. He doesn't seem to be posting whole lot at BR also. Busy maybe?
I don't feel it is a good idea for BJP to ask for Dy CM post. Instead of creating a useless position, it should have taken important portfolios like Home, Finance, Industry and Education to boldly clean up Bihar.

Sushil gets his due, named dy CM
Pioneer News Service / New Delhi / Patna

The Janata Dal (U) legislative party on Wednesday completed the formality of electing NDA's chief minister-in-waiting Nitish Kumar as its leader, but the big story of the day was BJP's decision to appoint its Bihar president, Sushil Kumar Modi as Mr Kumar's deputy. In his two-decade long political career, this is the first time that Mr Modi will hold a ministerial post.

Mr Modi was unanimously elected leader of the BJP legislative party on Wednesday. BJP vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu announced the decision after about a two hour meeting of the legislative party.

At the same time, the JD (U) legislative party elected Mr Kumar as its leader. Mr Kumar's name was proposed by JD (U) MLA from Jokihat Manzar Alam and seconded by Imamganj legislator Uday Narain Chaudhary.

The decision to appoint Mr Modi as the deputy chief minister was arrived at after detailed discussions between Mr Kumar and senior BJP leaders. Before leaving for Patna on Wednesday, Mr Kumar told reporters that he would be inducting about 14 ministers, including a deputy chief minister. "There will be a deputy chief minister. We will initially be inducting a small team of about 12-14 ministers which would be later expanded," he said after attending the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting, where he was felicitated for NDA's sweep in the Bihar Assembly election.

Though Mr Kumar declined to divulge the name of the person who would be his deputy, he said, "everything has been discussed." But the smile on the face of Mr Modi, who was by his side, said it all.

The agreement between the JD (U) and BJP on Mr Modi's name reflects the true spirit of partnership that BJP general secretary in-charge of Bihar Arun Jaitley has been able to forge between the two allies. Not long ago, JD (U) leaders would not see eye-to-eye with Mr Modi, and many of them even leveled serious allegations against him when talks were deadlocked during ticket-sharing. But since then, the two alliance partners have traveled a long way.

Mr Modi's election was opposed by some leaders who were eyeing the post of deputy chief minister on the ground that like Mr Nitish Kumar he too belonged to the OBC formation. There were suggestions that a Brahmin should be made the deputy CM to reward the upper castes who had strongly backed the NDA in the Assembly poll. But in the end, senior NDA leaders decided that the alliance should rise over caste consideration, and reflect the true spirit of Bihar's mandate.

After resolving the question of deputy CM, leaders of both the camps were busy finalising the names of MLAs who would be sworn in as cabinet ministers on Thursday. In addition to Mr Kumar, six JD (U) ministers are likely to take oath on Thursday. The front runners are Monajir Hasan, Bijendra Yadav, Brishen Patel, Uday Narain Chaudhary, Cheddi Paswan, Sudha Sriwastava and Ram Nath Thakur, son of former chief minister late Karpoori Thakur who was hailed as the icon of backward class empowerment. The BJP is likely to have four ministers. In the runing are Nand Kishore Yadav, Navin Kishore Sinha, Ashwini Choubey, Chandramohan Rai and Prem Kumar.
Commie editorial whining about the division in UPA...That will be the spin in days to come for the Bihar debacle by the sickular thugs. No mention of people's aspirations, people's desire for change from misrule, lawlessness, corruption, blatant communilist campaign -- all by RJD. Nope that was not the factor. It was all big bad division.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> PRICE OF DIVISION

United, they could have stood tall; divided, they fell. The verdict in Bihar once again upheld the simple electoral logic. The true picture of the elections emerges in the arithmetic of the contending groups’ vote shares. It was apparent that the division of the secular vote had been a major factor in the fall of Mr Lalu Prasad. But the numbers now not only confirm that assessment but also show how disastrous the division has been for the United Progressive Alliance. The secular democratic front, comprising Mr Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Congress, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Nationalist Congress Party, got nearly 32 per cent of the votes — despite 15 years of the RJD’s misrule. Mr Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party and the Communist Party of India together polled another 12 per cent of the votes. If all these UPA partners and their communist supporters fought the polls together, they would have been ahead of the National Democratic Alliance of the Janata Dal (United) and the Bharatiya Janata Party, whose share of the votes was a little over 35 per cent. But the UPA should not use the figures to claim a false victory. It must see the verdict for what it is — bad coalition politics and a failure to keep its flock together.

Managing a political coalition is tricky business even at the best of times. It becomes a major challenge when things go wrong. For the UPA, any serious attempt to control the damage must start with an acceptance of the failure. And, as the UPA chairperson, Ms Sonia Gandhi has to lead exercises to regain the lost unity. It was not the Congress’s fault that Mr Prasad and Mr Paswan, ministers in the UPA government, became sworn enemies in Bihar. The Congress could do little to prevent the two communist parties from going their separate ways in Bihar. But, if the Bihar battle exposed the UPA’s disunity, it could also serve as its wake-up call. The battle for Bihar was the first major trial of strength between the UPA and the NDA since the Lok Sabha polls last year. It was the BJP which has had seemingly unending problems within the party since its loss of power. The NDA too suffered a major setback in the Telugu Desam Party’s decision to quit the alliance. Coming to power in Patna would boost the sangh parivar’s sagging morale. For the UPA, though, it is a new threat. There could be worse days ahead for the UPA if its partners and the left fail to take the right lessons from the Bihar debacle.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Decline and fall of the RJD

Fifteen years after he took Bihar by storm, Lalu Prasad has been handed a drubbing so severe it has stunned pundit and pollster alike. That the sun was setting on the 15-year reign of the Rashtriya Janata Dal was obvious enough. Yet neither the exit polls nor reports emerging from the field captured the scale of voter dissatisfaction with what, in the final months, came to be seen as the Lalu-Buta regime. In the event, it was a clean sweep for the Janata Dal (United)-Bharatiya Janata Party combine spearheaded by Nitish Kumar.

Of the 243 seats on offer, the JD (U)-BJP has mopped up 143, leaving 65 to the RJD-Congress-Communist Party of India (Marxist) alliance. As expected, the Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party-Communist Party of India alliance finished at the bottom of the pile with 13 seats. Without any doubt the election belongs to Mr. Kumar. Working determinedly among the people, the JD(U) leader capitalised on the many follies of Governor's rule. A key strategy was to woo oppressed caste groups long neglected by the RJD.

The addition of a good chunk of the votes of Most Backward Classes to the JD (U)-BJP's kurmi-upper caste base appears to have tilted the balance against the RJD. Who would believe that 18 months ago, Mr. Prasad's party with its allies, the Congress and the LJP, made short work of the National Democratic Alliance, capturing 29 of Bihar's 40 Lok Sabha seats on a 44.4 per cent vote share?
<i>The media was used effectively for this

This picture-perfect alliance was in tatters by February 2005. With the Congress opting to go with Mr. Paswan, the RJD lost that Assembly election. But it was still the single largest party, with 75 seats and a vote share of 25.05 per cent. Since then, it has lost 21 seats and a couple of percentage points in vote share. This is a huge decline from the 30.7 per cent the RJD polled in the May 2004 Lok Sabha election. The RJD-Congress-CPI(M) alliance seemed to have conventional arithmetic on its side but what is clear is that this cannot overcome swings in the popular mood.

Two factors appear to have done in the alliance. The first was the perception that Mr. Prasad was a proxy ruler who manipulated the Raj Bhavan and refused to play fair. The second factor was the Union Cabinet's midnight decision to dissolve the House.

The Supreme Court's verdict holding this act to be unconstitutional sealed Mr. Prasad's fate. The RJD chief is not one to be underestimated: he retains considerable support among the deprived. Meanwhile, there is a need for serious reflection on the recent trend of low voter turnout in Bihar. It declined from 46.5 per cent in February 2005 — itself a massive drop from 2000 — to 45.5 per cent this time. Such evidence of voter apathy is all the more intriguing considering the nature and size of the JD(U)-BJP victory.

A high voter turnout, signifying protest on the one side and enthusiasm on the other, was a feature of recent elections that delivered emphatic mandates — in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and Haryana. Nitish Kumar's triumph is a significant break from this pattern.
Milli Council felicitates Nitish Kumar

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The All India Milli Council has extended its good wishes to the National Democratic Alliance chief ministerial candidate in Bihar, Nitish Kumar, on the Alliance's performance in the Bihar elections. However, it cautioned him "not to succumb to the divisive politics of the Bharatiya Janata Party". In a felicitation letter to Mr. Kumar, the secretary-general of the Council, Mohammad Manzoor Alam, said, "You keep the company of the Sangh, yet you are personally not a malicious or vicious person. This unusual combination is bound to throw up challenges that are not going to be easy to handle."

He said despite serious reservations about the NDA, Muslim voters supported Mr. Kumar in the belief that he would create a model of governance that was not hinged on the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Sevak Sangh antipathy towards Muslims but on the principles of fair play, rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution.

Mr. Alam said that under his leadership, Muslims would expect a different model of governance from what the NDA had provided in other States.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>King is gone, long live clown prince </b>
Amrita Talwar / New Delhi
Jab tak rahega samose mein aloo, tab tak rahega hamare man mein Lalu. Or so say our country's ad gurus even after Bihar packed off the Yadav leader to his most ignominious exit. Brand Lalu is as attention-grabbing as ever, feel the country's corporates, entertainment industry and advertisers.   

"You cannot kill brand Lalu. We've got so much because of him - the legitimacy of dhoti kurta in our drawing rooms, fresh buffalo milk, jokes, his self-created English witticisms. The TRP ratings of various television channels depend on his spoofs. Whether we accept it or not, he's been a hero and heroes seldom die," says director Mahesh Bhatt. Or as dream merchant Alyque Padamsee queries, "What's a pack of cards without a joker?"

Trade journals suggest that the day Zee TV presented Lalu and Rabri on Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hain, the channel commanded a 45 per cent viewership with top of the line rival channels commanding corresponding figures of 27, 21 and eight per cent. This emboldened the channel to air that particular episode thrice. The serial, CM n Family, a take-off on Bihar's former first family, shown on Sab TV, is not being abandoned but modified to reinvent the protagonist. Says a publicist of Sab TV, "Channels recreate Lalu's persona to boost their TRP ratings. Now with him being on the other side of fortune, it will give his character another interesting edge. His fury will be even more. We will bring in a twist in the tale.'

With serial makers making fast-paced adjustments to accommodate a fallen hero, can filmmakers be far behind? Mahesh Manjrekar's Padamshree Laloo Yadav may not have raked in the moolah but director Prakash Jha is already planning his next with the RJD leader as the protagonist. "Lalu as a phenomenon will always remain. He was never a politician and never represented a true Bihar, in fact he was a behind-the-scenes Bollywood actor. For us, he will always be an axis around which a film can work," says the director.

Adman Prahlad Kakkar believes Lalu will grow bigger, more multi-dimensional than slapstick. Says he, 'Lalu is far more dangerous when he loses what is dear to him. He is a terrific spoilsport. Nitish has won but he has to contend with a person who is quite capable of destroying Bihar to get his revenge. In fact, TV channels will use his character more often, this time to explain why he lost.'

The makers of the Amul Butter campaign, which has topicality as its USP (Remember the punchline: Aloo Prasad Yadav, butterwa ho to aisa?) is not giving him up either. 'Lalu is always in the news and we will continue to feature him irrespective of him being in the hot seat or not. The fun will continue. Also TV gag star Shekhar Suman will never let the character die as his on-screen identity is based on mimicking his inspiration,' says Debjeet Kohli of DaCunha.

Advertisers feel the brand will now pick up even more as Lalu has lost the elections. "We have not made Lalu a brand, he himself has done it. He is more of an entertainer, a performer than a politician. He has it in him to keep people hooked to him with his style of politics. He has come a long way and will never die," says GC Giri, president, O&M. And people do worship him if the sales of Lalooji, the plump doll made by a Mumbai-based company, are anything to go by. By October, 500 dolls had been sold and the makers were quite hopeful of bringing that figure up to 2,000 by the time of the elections. It's a different matter that people have decided to 'play' with Lalooji in the electoral sweepstakes.

As ad analyst Radharani Mitra of Bates advertising agency, sums it up, "Lalu, the leader's loss in the elections will not affect Brand Lalu. It is a thought, one that lives in the minds of consumers. It is not what Lalu thinks he is, but what the consumer thinks Lalu is all about! Besides, among politicians, he is a clever marketer and will not let himself die."

Come to think of it, who else can compel US President George Bush to learn Bihari? Only Lalu Yadav.
Nitish lands, Lalu leaves

Patna: The same Sahara Airlines aircraft ferried Bihar Chief Minister-designate Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad in different directions on Wednesday.

Mr. Prasad whizzed past waiting mediapersons into the airport here even as the flower petals, showered on Mr. Kumar some 30 minutes ago, were being swept away from the VIP gate. While Mr. Kumar and other NDA leaders arrived to stake their claim to form the new government, Mr. Prasad left for Delhi.

Veterans from Jayaprakash Narain's 'Sampoorn Kranti' movement days, Mr Prasad, Mr Kumar and Mr Sushil Modi (who will take oath as Deputy CM on Thursday) represent divergent poles of Bihar politics now. — UNI
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->King is gone, long live clown prince
Amrita Talwar / New Delhi<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

This is what needs to be destroyed. People need to hate this brand - it might be fun for advertisers except for Biharis who have suffered this moron for 15 years.
I agree. Bhanda, although very funny, was still a major Asura who caused widespread misery.

I had said more than five years ago at BRF that Bihar voters will kick out Lalu if election commission can ensure safe voing conditions for all the people. A large number of people used to be dissuaded from showing up for voting by the strongmen of Laloo.

This is the first election in Bihar that has been free of any poll related violence and booth capturing etc. And people have kicked the joker out.

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