ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Underscoring Political-Criminal Nexus

The incident of communal violence in Agarpur, Vaishali, Bihar in November 2015, clearly points to the widespread nexus among hoodlums, politicians with criminal records, and the police in the state. Dismantling this criminal patronage network, which perpetuates communalism and casteism and exacerbates lawlessness, is one of the biggest challenges that confronts the Nitish Kumar regime.

Undone by Its Own Mistakes

In the 2015 Bihar elections, Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies led at the outset but lost badly to the Grand Alliance when votes were counted. The familiar themes of caste and development--along with governance, class alignments, the reservations issue, and communal polarisation--were all important, but the mishandling of them by BJP leaders turned them to their rivals' advantage. The BJP campaign suffered from the over-centralisation of power in the hands of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. A detailed account, based on fieldwork and interviews with those on the ground, explains how BJP lost in Bihar.

Nitish Kumar's Triumph

An improved administration with a selective use of identity helps the ruling coalition triumph in Bihar

Bihar: Dawn of New Caste Battles?

Few can defend the demise of the Lalu Yadav raj, but it would be ahistorical to celebrate the victory of the Nitish Kumar-led alliance. The latter has won by participating in a "social-engineering" process, that seeks not empowerment of the lower castes but a reworking of the socio-political agenda to ensure that the upper castes regain their hold on the political establishment by co-opting individual leaders from among the backward castes and even accord them positions of prime importance. And this time the "others" in society - the OBCs and the dalits -will not give up their rights without a fight.

Bihar: End of Lalu Raj

End of Lalu Raj The defeat of Lalu Prasad Yadav after 15 years in power, directly or by proxy, marks a watershed in Bihar

One Splits into Two

Under the NDA government a small question becomes a life-anddeath question while genuinely large questions are of no interest to any of the alliance partners. The alliance is threatened because a zonal railway is proposed to be split. It is not threatened because the party which leads the alliance carries out a twomonth long carnage in a state where it governs.
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