chapter  7
The eastern gift
BJP’s 2014 victory in Bihar
BySanjay Kumar
Pages 10

The 2014 Lok Sabha election seems to have marked a new beginning in the politics of Bihar. The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)–Congress alliance performed well in the eastern region of Bihar with a sizeable Muslim population. Of the seven Lok Sabha seats in this region, the RJD–Congress alliance managed to win five seats and polled 35.2 per cent votes, nearly 5 per cent more compared to its average vote share in the state. When the electoral process began in early January and the Bharatiya Janata Party had started making headways in Bihar, the voters had indicated somewhat different voting preferences for the Lok Sabha elections and for the assembly elections in a hypothetical situation if assembly elections were also held. Bihar continues to remain a state with deep caste-based divisions. It has remained difficult for any political party to think of a successful political mobilization only on the basis of good work done in power or by promising development.