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HINDUSTAN TIMES EDITORIAL -The likely emergence of Tejashwi Yadav

November 09, 2020 05:51 AM


The likely emergence of Tejashwi Yadav
Exit polls, conducted after the three phases of the Bihar assembly elections, are out. And they either show a decisive win for the Mahagatbandhan (grand alliance of the Opposition parties, led by Tejashwi Yadav), or a close contest with an edge to the grouping led by Mr Yadav, with the incumbent National Democratic Alliance (NDA) slipping. If the exit polls have captured the trend correctly — do note that many exit polls have often got it wrong, and Hindustan Times has not independently verified the results — it will mark a significant rupture in Indian politics.

After 15 years in power — with a short nine-month break — Nitish Kumar may exit Patna’s secretariat. For the second time in a row, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may fail to win the confidence of Bihar’s voters. New social equations may form. And it will mark the emergence of the youngest possible chief minister in India — Tejashwi Yadav will turn 31 on Monday.

Mr Yadav, as Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi’s son, grew up, surrounded by power. But politics has also tested him. His party lost two state elections and won the third only to lose power in a short time because Mr Kumar shifted sides. He also saw two Lok Sabha losses and his father get convicted. But Mr Yadav’s campaign showed that what he appears to have drawn from these setbacks is the need to find a new vocabulary of politics — with a clear focus on bread and butter issues that matter — combined with a more inclusive social alliance. If he does succeed, his challenge will be translating this vision into governance. But even if he doesn’t make it, Mr Yadav’s rise has signalled that citizens want economic relief.


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