The New Lucknow, Part 4: In the eight months of the Yogi government, SP is tongue-tied, the whir of BSP's formidable party machine, which prepares for polls so meticulously, is barely noticeable among the people, on issues of governance.
The New Lucknow, Part 1: Eight months on, in the mirror of the ongoing campaign for urban local body polls beginning this week, the delivering state is yet to be seen but it’s the disallowing state that’s making itself heard in UP.
By breaking with Lalu, and joining hands with BJP again, Nitish could be trying to break the stasis, regain room for manoeuvre in his government - Modi is the domineering presence in the BJP today but the state BJP continues to lack a leader of Lalu’s stature — while counting on Central assistance to help get things moving in Bihar again.
Within the Mahagathbandhan, RJD chief Lalu Prasad is the more keenly tracked partner, and his son, Tejashwi, a first time MLA and deputy chief minister in the Nitish government, is increasingly being seen as an important stakeholder in, even guarantor of, the alliance's stability.
As the BJP tries to draw a broader polarisation between “us” the nationalists and “them” the anti-nationals/ Leftists/ Islamists/ political opponents of the Modi regime/ Indian Muslims, non-BJP parties can be said to be looking on, at best.
A room in 7 Strand Road, Patna, is the nerve centre of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s election campaign. This is where a core team is working on a strategy that is focused on Brand Nitish, without the distractions of party and ideology.