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  • MODERATOR:

    Hello and welcome to the webchat with Aditi Phadnis, Political Editor, Business Standard as she interprets the Bihar mandate



  • A

    ANUPAM KUMAR

    Much is being talked about Bihar assembly elections across all channels. So, what makes this election different from other state elections?

    ADITI PHADNIS

    Only that it represents how quickly people change their minds: the same BJP that won 31 seats in the Lok Sabha out of 40 18 months ago, is not even a runner up in the Bihar Assembly elections.


  • N

    NITIN MATHUR

    We have all seen how the RSS pracharak has groomed himself into a powerful orator PM. He and Amit Shah have mastered the poll management and the number of seats is a reflection of it. Do you believe that the manner of speeches strategically delivered and anti-minority headlines delivered with alacrity at command is the actual strategic face of Modiji rather than the development plank? Is the young generation in Hindi speaking areas opting for "garv se kaho hum Hindu hain" theme?

    ADITI PHADNIS

    Well, the BJP's performance in Bihar does not validate the theory that speechifying alone works. Nor does it validate the theory that young people are becoming assertive Hindus.


  • M

    MOHAN

    Congratulation to winning party and wish all the best to losing party. Will this Grand Alliance party sustain for the next 5 yrs and deliver on the agenda they planned?

    ADITI PHADNIS

    Nothing can derail the Grand Allliance for five years. And I am sure they will try to deliver on the agenda because they have realized that performance pays.


  • S

    SUNIL

    Aditi, Who says India is intolerant! Isn’t Bihar election result a befitting response by tolerant to intolerant?

    ADITI PHADNIS

    I don't think there are absolutes like tolerant and intolerant. India is intolerant because people can enter a person's house and lynch a man to death simply on the strength of rumours that he has beef in his fridge: that is not a sign of tolerance, surely. Equally, because India is plural, we have learnt to adjust to different religious practices and a mosque will never be targeted just because Muslims of a different sect are praying there - like a country in our neighbourhood. But the political empowerment of a set of people spurs them to demonstrate their power. This has to be curbed. As an Indian, no one can tell me that I cannot watch an india_Pakistan cricket match, or listen to Ghulam Ali's ghazals...Manufactured nationalism must be rejected.


  • S

    SADANAND

    Dear Aditi, if Bihar election is the new chapter in politics of this decade as makes it to be. Then why no one has been able to spot it? Are we over analyzing everything in 24×7 digital world?

    ADITI PHADNIS

    I think you are absolutely right. No one is sitting back, taking a deep breath and thinking: social media is forcing us to provide instant responses. And having responded once, the idea gets fixed in your mind - but people are dynamic and keep changing their views... Everything seems like a turning point. Wait till the UP elections !


  • J

    JERRY

    BJP seem to be suggesting that, according to newspaper reports, that the defeat in Bihar is due to caste arithmetic. This almost suggests that they believe that the recent controversies around beef ban and intolerance have had no bearing on the results. Does this mean that the BJP has not learnt anything or are unwilling to change?

    ADITI PHADNIS

    I think this is an early warning alarm system for the BJP - that if it does not change, it could meet the same fate elsewhere. What Bihar also tells us is that the Parliament elections are an aggregation of state elections. So if it continues to be in denial, it does so at its own peril.


  • R

    RASHI

    What makes Bihar special from other state elections citing that Bihar contributes a modest 3% to the GDP of the nation and a win or lose of BJP would not have impacted the seat sharing formula in Rajya Sabha?

    ADITI PHADNIS

    Bihar is different because the election is so different from the Lok Sabha elections where the BJP won 31 seats out of 40 just 18 months ago. Look at the verdict now ! People have rewarded Nitish Kumar for his effort over ten years. They have rejected BJP in the state, for its regressive efforts at the centre....


  • R

    RAGINI

    The dust around Bihar election has settled and we have Grand Alliance led by Nitish Kumar as a clear winner also Lalu Prasad led RJD has emerged as the single largest party. Will Lalu Prasad Yadav impact Nitish Kumar’s style of governance?

    ADITI PHADNIS

    In the past, the problem was that Lalu Prasad did not command the respect of the bureaucracy. Nitish Kumar has no such problems. The past ten years suggest he has always used the bureaucracy as a force multiplier. What we will see now is a Sonia Gandhi-Manmohan Singh kind of parternership replicated in Bihar: where Kumar will play Manmohan Singh to Lalu's Sonia Gandhi, but a scaled Manmohan Singh because of his understanding of politics


  • V

    VINEET

    What strategy by the Grand Alliance helped clinched the victory and who all do you think were instrumental in achieving the same?

    ADITI PHADNIS

    So many things went into it: Nitish Kumar's governance record, the high degree of unity in the alliance, the agreement on common issues, the unity among leaders, the campaign itself...


  • N

    N.SHARMA

    Is Laloo or Nitish the clear winner from Bihar state elections? Is there a chink in Modi's armour? Are we seeing the charisma fade off?

    ADITI PHADNIS

    It would be a mistake to make a distinction. I doubt very much if Lalu would have reported such a spectacular result if he had contested on his own. Similarly Nitish without the BJP ....And frankly the Congress victory is unthinkable but for Nitish and Lalu's votes which were transferred to Congress candidates. I think Narendra Modi is still immensely popular in India. There are a lot of takers for his ''chaiwalla makes good'' appeal. But I do feel, he has to show firmness with the likes of Mahant Adityanath....


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