Worst electoral drubbing for Cong

 Pushed to the margins in the last two decades, the Congress which shunned alliance with any party was keen to carve a niche for itself going into current elections.  This is precisely why the party high command decided to let go the crutches of the RJD and contested all the 243 seats on its own.

But it failed on several fronts. First, there were gross irregularities in distributing tickets to the candidates. Nepotism was at its worst as genuine Congressmen were overlooked in favour of relatives of “tired and retired” old loyalists. Even those who got lucky with the tickets had little time to canvass as the party released the final list of candidates only towards the fag end of the nomination date.

Secondly, constant attacks by Sonia and Rahul Gandhi on Nitish did not go down well with the politically-mature voters. The fact that not a single minister from Bihar finds a place in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet was not lost on the voters.

Thirdly, the High Court verdict in Ayodhya case alienated the Muslims from the Congress.
Fourthly, the party lacked organisation and a charismatic leader in Bihar who could
challenge Nitish. Instead, it depended on  leaders from outside the state such as Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and union minister from the state C P Joshi to canvass for its nominees. Voters could neither identify nor connect with them.

Finally, the strategy of Congress to project Mukul Wasnik (a Dalit) as in-charge of Bihar and Choudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser (a Muslim) as BPCC chief backfired. But hardly anybody knew Wasnik, a Dalit leader from Maharashtra who never uttered a word when Biharis were being roughed up in his home state.

Win some, lose some

  Winners

1) Parveen Amanullah - JD (U): Cabinet Secretary Afzal Amanullah’s wife and daughter of diplomat-turned-politician Syed Shahabuddin
2) Shyam Razak - JD (U): Lalu’s trusted aide who switched over to JD (U) in 2009
3) Nitish Mishra - JD (U): Former CM Dr Jagannath Mishra’s son
4) Annu Shukla - JD (U): Wife of don-turned-politician Munna Shukla 
5) Nand Kishore Yadav (BJP): Health Minister
6) Ashwani Choubey (BJP): PHED Minister    

Losers

1) Rabri Devi, (RJD): Wife of RJD chief and former CM
2) Lovely Anand (Cong): Wife of jailed ex-MP Anand Mohan
3) Ranjeeta Ranjan (Cong): Wife of incarcerated MP Pappu Yadav
4) Mehboob Ali Kaisar (Cong)
5) Sadhu Yadav (Cong): Brother of Rabri Devi
6) Pashupati Kumar Paras (LJP): Paswan’s brother

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