The Morning Wrap: Mohammed Akhlaq's Son Says Bihar Verdict Is 'Tribute' To Father; Foreign Papers Read Deep Into BJP Defeat

09/11/2015 8:20 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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PATNA, INDIA - NOVEMBER 8: RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar celebrate after Mahagathbandhan's (Grand Alliance) victory in Bihar assembly elections at RJD office, on November 8, 2015 in Patna, India. Nitish Kumar said, 'I express my gratitude towards people of Bihar, will try our best to match up with their expectations. We respect our opposition in Bihar; want to work in consensus with everyone to develop Bihar. This victory is big win and we will work towards the Grand Alliances mandate for the development of Bihar.' Lalu Yadav said, 'BJP had its eyes on Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal. It wanted to move eastwards. Bihar stopped them in tracks. PM Narendra Modi is nothing but an RSS pracharak.' The grand alliances victory is also attributed to the rejection of communal politics, driven mostly by the recent debate over cow slaughter and consumption of beef. Data from the election commissions website for 240 of the states 243 seats showed the RJD-JD(U)-Congress alliance led in 178 seats, an emphatic victory over the NDA that could only win around 59 seats. (Photo by Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

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Setting aside 15 years of bitter rivalry, Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav came together to take a stand against the Bharatiya Janata Party, which ultimately counted. Along with the Congress Party, their coalition has trounced the BJP and its allies in the Bihar State Election.

Notwithstanding a string of losses that began with the defeat in the 2005 assembly polls, when his party was ousted from power after 15 years and a court ruling, which will keep him out of the electoral fray for six years, RJD boss Lalu Prasad has made a resounding comeback on Bihar's political stage.

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Sartaj, Mohammed Akhlaq's eldest son and a corporal in the IAF, said the Bihar verdict is a tribute to his father and that people had united against the gathering forces of communalism.

With his spiky gelled hair, classic black rim glasses, kurta-pajama teamed with sneakers, the articulate and cerebral Prashant Kishor is quite the new-age political strategist.

The Bihar defeat will weigh on Amit Shah, who has however promised his seniors that he has the energy "to work for two more lives."

The lone exit poll that got the Bihar results right and was never broadcast, finally had its last laugh as the grand alliance won Sunday.

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An Indian state election has rarely received as much international attention as Bihar this time, with the results viewed largely in their implications for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi trained his guns at Narendra Modi on Sunday after the party posted its best result in Bihar in 20 years, saying the people would throw the Prime Minister out if he didn’t press on the accelerator.

A calendar coincidence - or conspiracy - ensured that two of the biggest scalps under Lalu Prasad's belt were under one roof in New Delhi when news of his latest conquest broke.

Opinion


Ramchandra Guha says that when scientists protest, it is characteristically different from that of writers or film-makers. "Unlike writers and artists, scientists are not prone to signing petitions or to seek out the press. That they sought fit to draft and issue a public statement is a reflection of their deep concern as citizens, and as scientists."

Sanjay Kumar says that the Bihar elections isn't a rejection of Modi as much as an acceptance of the promise of development that Nitish Kumar offered. "The victory of the Grand Alliance is sure to open possibilities of a coming together of non-BJP parties, specifically in the four States that go to the polls next year. At the same time this defeat will open the gates for discussion within the BJP about what went wrong with the party campaign."

Pratap Bhanu Mehta analyses the aftermath of the Bihar election. "It is the peculiar dignity of Indian democracy that it so often provides a new dawn. Kishan Pattnayak once called Bihar the graveyard of all revolutions. Now it is a source of hope. It is up to Nitish to consolidate what is already a stunning legacy in the annals of Bihar politics.

Saikat Majumdar explains the paradox of Singapore, a state known to frown upon dissent by individuals, now investing in liberal arts educational programmes. "Singapore knows well that a messier kind of democracy is not too far off in what is known so far as an efficient and sanitised police state. To fling citizens into a rough-and-tumble democracy without adequate preparation would be to invite chaos. A vigorous liberal arts education, with its ingrained culture of difference, discussion and dissent, is the best preparation for this not-too-distant future."

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