Politics of Bihar
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The Politics of Bihar, a state in eastern India, was characterised, in the early 2000s, by weak governance and corrupt politicians. Currently, there are three main political formations: Janata Dal, Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal led coalition which also has the Indian National Congress. There are myriad other political formations.
- 1 Administration and Governments
- 2 History
- 3 Election in Bihar
- 4 Political Parties in Bihar
- 5 See also
- 6 References and footnotes
- 7 External links
Administration and Governments
The constitutional head of the Government of Bihar is the Governor, who is appointed by the President of India. The real executive power rests with the Chief Minister and the cabinet. The political party or the coalition of political parties having a majority in the Legislative Assembly forms the Government.The first Chief Minister of Bihar was Sri Krishna Singh & first Deputy Chief Minister was Dr Anugrah Narayan Sinha.
The head of the bureaucracy of the State is called the Chief Secretary. Under him is a hierarchy of officials drawn from the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, and different wings of the State civil services. The judiciary is headed by the Chief Justice. Bihar has a High Court which has been functioning since 1916. All the branches of the government are located in the state capital, Patna.
The state is divided into 9 divisions and 38 districts, for administrative purposes. The various districts included in the divisions – Patna, Tirhut, Saran, Darbhanga, Kosi, Purnia, Bhagalpur, Munger and Magadh Division, are as listed below.
Bihar was an important part of India's struggle for independence. Gandhi became the mass leader only after the Champaran Satyagraha that he launched on the repeated request of a local leader, Raj Kumar Shukla, he was supported by great illumanaries like Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. Anugrah Narayan Sinha and Brajkishore Prasad.
Post Independence : 1950–1975
After Independence the power was shared by the two great Gandhian nationalists Dr. Sri Krishna Sinha who later became the first Chief Minister of Bihar and Dr. Anugrah Narayan Sinha who decidedly was next to him in the cabinet and served as the first Deputy Chief Minister cum Finance Minister of Bihar.In late 60's death of central railway minister late Mr. Lalit Narayan Mishra (who was killed by a hand grenade attack for which central leadership is blamed most of the time) pronounced the end of indigenous work oriented mass leaders. For two decades congress ruled the state with the help of puppet chief ministries hand in glove with the central government (Mrs. Indira Gandhi) ignoring the welfare of the people of the state. It was the time when a prominent leader like Satyendra Narayan Singh took sides with the Janata Party and deserted congress from where his political roots originated, following the ideological differences with the congress.
Bihar movement & Aftermath: 1975–1990
After independence also, when India was falling into an autocratic rule during the regime of Indira Gandhi, the main thrust to the movement to hold elections came from Bihar under the leadership of Jayaprakash Narayan.
In 1974, JP led the student's movement in the state of Bihar which gradually developed into a popular people's movement known as the Bihar Movement. It was during this movement that JP gave a call for peaceful Total Revolution together with V. M. Tarkunde, he founded the Citizens for Democracy in 1974 and the People's Union for Civil Liberties in 1976, both NGOs, to uphold and defend civil liberties.On 23 January 1977, Indira Gandhi called fresh elections for March and released all political prisoners. Emergency officially ended on 23 March 1977.The Congress Party, suffered a defeat at the hands of the Janata Party coalition of several small parties created in 1977 and the alliance came to power, headed by Morarji Desai, who became the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India. In Bihar, the Janata Party won all the fifty-four Lok Sabha seats in 1977 general elections under the mentorship of Jayaprakash Narayan and rose to power in Bihar assembly too.Karpoori Thakur became CM after winning chief ministership contest from the then Janata Party President Satyendra Narayan Sinha.
Bihar movement's campaign warned Indians that the elections might be their last chance to choose between "democracy and dictatorship."
This resulted in two things:
- The identity of Bihar(from the word Vihar meaning monasteries) representing a glorious past was lost. Its voice often used to get lost in the din of regional clamour of other states, specially the linguistic states like Uttar pradesh, Madhya pradesh etc.
- Bihar gained an anti-establishment image. The establishment oriented press often projected the state as indiscipline and anarchy.
Idealism did assert itself in the politics from time to time, viz, 1977 when a wave defeated the entrenched Congress Party and then again in 1989 when Janata Dal came to power on an anti corruption wave. In between, the socialist movement tried to break the stranglehold of the status quoits under the leadership of Mahamaya Prasad Sinha and Karpoori Thakur. Unfortunately, this could not flourish, partly due to the impractical idealism of these leaders and partly due to the machinations of the central leaders of the Congress Party who felt threatened by a large politically aware state. Communist Party in Bihar was formed in 1939. In the sixties, seventies and eighties communist movement in Bihar was a formidable force and represented the most enlightened section in Bihar. The Communist movement in Bihar was led by veteran communist leaders like Jagannath Sarkar, Sunil Mukherjee, Rahul Sankrityayan, Pandit Karyanand Sharma, Indradeep Sinha, Chandrashekhar Singh and others. It was under the leadership of Jagannath Sarkar communist party fought "total revolution" led by Jayprakash Narain, as the movement in its core was anti democratic and challenged the very fabric of Indian Democracy.
Lalu's Politics : 1990–2004
Janata Dal came to power in the state in 1990 on the back of its victory at the national stage in 1989. Lalu Prasad Yadav became Chief Minister after winning the race of legislative party leadership by a slender margin against Ram Sundar Das, a former chief minister from the Janata Party and close to eminent Janata Party leaders like Chandrashekhar and S N Sinha. Later, Lalu Prasad Yadav gained popularity with the masses through a series of popular and populist measures. The principled socialists, Nitish Kumar included, gradually left him and Lalu Prasad Yadav was the uncrowned king by 1995 as both Chief Minister as well as the President of his party, Rashtriya Janata Dal. He was a charismatic leader who had people's support and Bihar had got such a person as the chief minister after a long time. But he couldn't bring the derailed wagon of development of the state on to the track. When corruption charges got serious, he quit the post of CM but anointed his wife as the CM and ruled through proxy. In this period, the administration deteriorated fast.
By 2004, 14 years after Lalu's victory, The Economist magazine said that "Bihar [had] become a byword for the worst of India, of widespread and inescapable poverty, of corrupt politicians indistinguishable from mafia-dons they patronise, caste-ridden social order that has retained the worst feudal cruelties". In 2005, the World Bank believed that issues faced by the state was "enormous" because of "persistent poverty, complex social stratification, unsatisfactory infrastructure and weak governance".
In 2005, as disaffection reached a crescendo among the masses, middle classes included, the RJD was voted out of power and Lalu Prasad Yadav lost an election to a coalition headed by his previous ally and now rival Nitish Kumar. Nitish Kumar has regained Bihar's true identity, which is the place from where people who changed the world come like Gautam Buddha or Asoka or Sher Shah Suri or the Sikh Gurus. Despite the separation of financially richer Jharkhand, Bihar has actually seen more positive growth in recent years.
Currently, there are three main political formations: Janata Dal, Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal led coalition which also has the Indian National Congress. There are myriad other political formations. Ram Vilas Paswan led Lok Janshakti Party is a constituent of the UPA at the centre, but does not see eye to eye with Lalu Prasad Yadav's RJD in Bihar. Bihar People's Party is a small political formation in north Bihar. The Communist Party of India had a strong presence in Bihar at one time, but has got weakened now. CPM and Forward Bloc have minor presence. Ultra left parties like CPML, Party Unity etc. have presence in pockets and are at war with the state.
Election in Bihar
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|Year||Lok Sabha Election||Total Seats||Winning Party/Coalition||Winner's seat|
|1951||First Lok Sabha||Indian National Congress|
|1957||Second Lok Sabha||Indian National Congress|
|1962||Third Lok Sabha||Indian National Congress|
|1967||Fourth Lok Sabha||Indian National Congress|
|1971||Fifth Lok Sabha||Indian National Congress|
|1977||Sixth Lok Sabha||Indian National Congress|
|1980||Seventh Lok Sabha||Indian National Congress (Indira)|
|1984||Eighth Lok Sabha||Indian National Congress (Indira)|
|1989||Ninth Lok Sabha||Indian National Congress (Indira)|
|1991||Tenth Lok Sabha||Indian National Congress|
|1996||Eleventh Lok Sabha|
|1998||Twelfth Lok Sabha||National Democratic Alliance|
|1999||Thirteenth Lok Sabha||National Democratic Alliance|
|2004||Fourteenth Lok Sabha||National Democratic Alliance|
|2009||Fifteenth Lok Sabha||National Democratic Alliance|
Political Parties in Bihar
- Bharatiya Jan Congress
- Bihar People's Party
- Bihar Vikas Party
- Kisan Vikas Party
- Krantikari Samyavadi Party
- Rashtrawadi Kisan Sanghatan
- Rashtriya Janata Dal (Democratic)
- Samajwadi Krantikari Sena
- Sampurna Vikas Dal
- Political parties in Bihar
- List of Chief Ministers of Bihar
- List of Deputy Chief Ministers of Bihar
- List of Finance Ministers of Bihar
- Politicians from Bihar
References and footnotes
- "India Home". Worldbank.org.in. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- Press Trust of India (25 February 2004). "Bihar a byword for worst of India: The Economist". Express India. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- Gort, Jerald D.; Jansen, Henry; Vroom, H. M. (2002). Religion, conflict and reconciliation: multifaith ideals and realities. Rodopi. p. 246. ISBN 978-90-420-1460-2.
- Kesselman, Mark; Krieger, Joel; William A., Joseph (2009). Introduction to Comparative Politics: Political Challenges and Changing Agendas (5 ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 298. ISBN 978-0-547-21629-4.
- Namboodiripad, E.M.S. (9–22 August 1997). "The Opposition and the Left". Frontline; The Hindu 14 (16). Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- "PD article:Janata Party won all Lok Sabha seats". Patna Daily. Archived from the original on 2010-12-30. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- IOTY politics winner: Nitish Kumar – India News – IBNLive
- "Bihar a byword for worst of India: The Economist".
- "World Bank Report : Bihar – Towards a Development Strategy". World Bank.
10.Radhakanta Barik - Land & Caste Politics in Bihar (Shipra Publications, Delhi, 2006)
11.Jagannath Sarkar, "Many Streams" Selected Essays by Jagannath Sarkar and Reminiscing Sketches" Compiled by Gautam Sarkar Edited by Mitali Sarkar, First Published May 2010, Navakarnataka Publications Private Limited, Bangalore.
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