Lalu’s pol­i­tics and his fu­ture

How the crafty moves of the doyen of In­dian pol­i­tics were check-mated by a clev­erer dis­pen­sa­tion.

Alive - - News - by Ab­hishek Ku­mar

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts know that Lalu Prasad Ya­dav is a politi­cian who has a strong grip on peo­ple from lower strata and mi­nor­ity community in Bi­har. He made his po­lit­i­cal for­tune by be­long­ing to grass­roots level from where he had arisen from and reached the thrones of chief min­is­ter and Union min­is­ter and ruled the state for a long 15 years from 1990 to 2005. Lalu is recog­nised to be a special politi­cian for special masses, who vote for his party RJD in ev­ery elec­tion. Lalu Prasad’s RJD al­ways get more than 20% con­sol­i­dated votes in the elec­tions even the party loses.

Lalu’s vote bank has a di­rect link with Ya­davs, the largest caste with at least 12 per cent pop­u­la­tion in the state; and the largest mi­nor­ity community, Mus­lims, with 16 per cent pop­u­la­tion in Bi­har. It is the com­bi­na­tion of these two vote banks that make Lalu in­vin­ci­ble, when elec­tions are fought by any party alone, be it JDU or BJP.

Since 1990, in the pro and against en­vi­ron­ment of Man­dal Com­mis­sion rec­om­men­da­tions for OBC reser­va­tions, Lalu along with other re­gional stal­warts in pol­i­tics like Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav emerged as the cham­pi­ons of a new pol­i­tics based on the lines of caste and ap­pease­ment of Mus­lims to get a solid and un­di­vided sup­port in the Gangetic plains, es­pe­cially UP and Bi­har. It was this caste based pol­i­tics with mi­nor­ity ap­pease­ment that made the long time rul­ing Congress a sec­ond rung party in these states which send max­i­mum num­ber of MPs to the Par­lia­ment.

In Bi­har, Lalu Prasad is still recog­nised as a voice of down­trod­den peo­ple who oth­er­wise have to mi­grate to other states ev­ery year for the sake of em­ploy­ment. It is a re­al­ity that the same pub­lic hasn’t been led by him on the fi­nan­cial or so­cioe­co­nomic front of devel­op­ment. In the present era of ur­ban­i­sa­tion, digi­ti­sa­tion and glob­al­iza­tion, con­cern for Lalu’s type of pol­i­tics arises is that the present gen­er­a­tions of youths and mi­grant work­ers don’t buy Lalu’s pol­i­tics based on tra­di­tional caste and community lines. They rather want to get de­vel­oped and live a

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