Bihar elections verdict — public votes for reforms??

Much anticipated results of Bihar elections are out. I am really happy to see the current government win a second-term. I have heard and read a lot about how Bihar was changing after living in dark ages for 20 years. Hence, it was more important that people vote for this government the second time and allow the agenda to continue. We all know what happens in State elections when a new government comes to power. All that happens is reversal of what previous government has done.

What was more important is whether people understand these reforms and find it useful? It seems they do. There has been a clean sweep as the results show.  I am no expert on why the government won its second term and there could be many more reasons as well. But it is great to see people of Bihar voting for a government which was ushering in the change people so badly wanted. People were again coming back to Bihar (though still a small percentage) and there was a surge in industrial activity. Bihar growth rates were the highest (though from a low base) and all this was coming because of some reforms taken by the government.

It is also nice to note that people have voted for reforms. We have many cases in India where we see some positives with the current government and call it reforms. But the people vote out the government. So somewhere either people did not like those reforms or the reforms were plain media hype. But in Bihar’s case, it seems both the government and public understood the reforms. We can’t have such sweeping mandate otherwise.

In one line – People liked what the current government did and asked it to continue.

We see something similar in Delhi as well with Sheila Dixit being in power for three consecutive terms. There have been scams and issues but overall Delhi has become a better place with much improvement in infrastructure over the years.

The next question is why people did not vote for an alternative in Bihar earlier? I guess no one was seen as a strong contender against the then government. Teh caste equation was also very high. Now people realise being from a particular caste alone does not work. You need some economic activity as well. Hence, the change (not sure).

I was just thinking that could also this shift for reforms be possible because of the division of Bihar and Jharkhand? Before division, Bihar had huge natural resources and people were just happy with  rent-seeking from the areas. Now with all that gone to Jharkhand, may be people realise that they have to work now as there are no freebies anymore.  I was also chatting with a friend from Bihar who was very happy to see the results. On asking him this natural resource hypothesis, he kind of agreed. Off course we need more research on this. Only then can we tell whether it is right or just another false idea.  

May be I am getting too overboard with all this Bihar. Time will tell….

Having said this, it is high time Uttar Pradesh (UP) wakes up and does something. It also lost natural resources (as in Tourism revenue via Uttarakhand) but has still not woken up. Poor  and corrupt governance continue and is only getting worse. If Bihar continues like this, soon UP will have no neighbours to compare its apathy with. But yes going by state of issues in Maharashtra and Karnataka it could look south and find some states for comparison.

3 Responses to “Bihar elections verdict — public votes for reforms??”

  1. Ashish Says:

    Would you like to discuss this report:


  2. Knutselen Says:

    People did not like those reforms and yes, the reforms were plain media hype …

  3. National Infant Mortality Rate at 50 « Mostly Economics Says:

    […] One sees some improvement in Bihar in last few years. It was 60 in 2003 and rises to 61 in 2004. Has declined to touch 52 in 2009. Another achievment of Nitish Kumar’s government. […]

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