Patna: In what can only be termed as a landslide victory, the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U)-BJP combine has swept the state assembly polls in Bihar, with a near three-fourths majority. The victory more than validates Nitish Kumar's claims of having provided the impoverished state a viable model of 'development'.
In the process Nitish Kumar has put paid to dynastic pretensions of the powers that be, both at a state and national-level. The results have devastated Lalu Prasad, whose party the RJD has taken the biggest hit in the elections, in combination with Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP. They were the retenders to the throne. Currently they are struggling to retain even 26 seats in the new assembly –almost halfway down from their previous 64. Ex-chief minister of Bihar, and Lalu Yadav's wife, Rabri Devi, is trailing badly at both the seats she was contesting and is likely to lose them.
The other dynastic name in play- the Congress Party – has suffered further humiliation – with the much touted charisma and charm of the fifth-generation Gandhi entrant into national politics, Rahul Gandhi, failing to translate into any kind of material gains for the party. Actually, the party has slipped further from the 2005 polls and is now struggling to retain 6 seats in the new assembly, down from the previous 9.
Fourth generation Gandhi and current party chief Sonia Gandhi had a few words to offer at this massive rejection of Gandhi charisma by the Bihar electorate. She confessed that in the state the party would have to start from ''scratch.'' In the course of the election the Gandhis, mother and son, would have addressed upwards of 20 public rallies, accounting from atleast 200 constituencies.
In the 243 seat assembly, the tally of the ruling JDU-BJP alliance is fluctuating between 196-200 seats, with the Lalu Yadav/Ram Vilas Paswan RJD-LJP combine floating somewhere downstream at 26-30 seats. The Congress is struggling to retain six seats out of its previous tally of nine.
The JDU-BJP alliance's tally has gained near 57 seats over its 2005 tally of 143.