How Nitish's arrow hit bull's eye

Improved law and order, Muslims help the JD(U) strongman sail through

An ace politician that Nitish is, he played his cards well and the arrow (JD-U symbol) hit the bull’s eye. But then, there are four primary reasons which helped Nitish sail through.
First, during the 2005 Assembly elections, Nitish had promised that if voted to power, he would improve law and order of Bihar in the next three months, and shut down the thriving kidnapping industry. “If I fail to do so, I won’t come to you again to seek votes,” Nitish had said.

He stuck to his words. Right from day one, he cracked the whip, gave his cops a free hand, stopped political patronage to criminals and set up special courts for speedy trials of goonda elements.

After enforcing the rule of law in the lawless state, Nitish took a historical step in empowering women when he introduced 50 per cent reservation for women in panchayat elections.

The move had its cascading effect. After feeling empowered, more than 54 per cent women, irrespective of caste, creed and religion, turned up to cast their votes in the Assembly elections this time.

Before exercising their franchise, these women had in mind how their sons and daughters (and even they too) can move fearlessly in their nearby areas even after dark. This was something unimaginable during Lalu-Rabri era, such was reign of terror of the RJD goons then.

Third, the decision of Nitish regime to provide bicycle and school uniform to all school-going girls turned the tide in the JD(U) strongman’s favour. Even in remote areas, girls could be seen pedalling their way to school in far-off areas.

Fourth, Muslims played a significant role in Nitish storming back to power. The minority community, which has so far been treated as a vote-bank during every elections, were convinced that even with the BJP sharing power with the JD(U), there was no communal threat to their lives.

Not a single clash or communal riots took place in the last five years. Besides they found that the culprits of Bhagalpur riots (which claimed hundreds of lives in 1989) were booked in 2007. Apart from this, pension for riot victims was announced. Besides, the salary of madrasa teachers was also increased. All these factors helped Nitish reap a rich harvest.

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