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Left activist Vineet: grand alliance lesser of two evils

N Kumar | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 6:06 IST

The activist

  • Vineet is a 28-year-old Leftist political activist from Chhapra
  • Chhapra is the headquarters of the Saran district, which was where Jayaprakash Narayan was born

The viewpoint

  • Vineet is disillusioned with both the major alliances in Bihar
  • But given a choice, he would pick the grand alliance as the lesser of two evils

More in the story

  • Vineet\'s assessment of the Communists\' chances
  • What he thinks were the pros and cons of Nitish\'s 10-year reign

Elections are not just about politicians. They're about people and issues. And what will really drive their vote.

Catch is, therefore, starting a 'People of Bihar' series, which will daily capture what different impact groups across the state are feeling. This is true insight on the Bihar election: up-close and hyper-personal.

The modern-day Saran district, with its headquarters at Chhapra, has a great significance in India's national politics, and the politics of Bihar in particular.

This where the originator of the Janata movement, Jayaprakash Narayan, was born. JP, as he's popularly known, was the one who inspired an entire generation of leaders like Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar to join politics and work for the people.

Vineet Kumar, 28, is a political activist working in this very region. But he's disillusioned with all the major political parties in Bihar today. Vineet wishes for a communist government, but he's well aware that there's little chance of that happening.

Being a politically active youth in Bihar, Vineet's assessment of the ground realities is significant when it comes to the ongoing assembly polls. Here are excerpts of a conversation with him.

Which way is the wind blowing in these elections?

It is a tough call even for seasoned political analysts. There is no undercurrent in favour of any party. It is a tough battle and the silence of the people is bothering the politicians.

Who are you supporting in these elections?

I know it is unrealistic, but I want the Communists to form the next government. Activists like me are working hard for the Left parties to get at least 20 seats.

That seems a bit of a stretch...

You may not realise it, but Left parties are strong in some regions of the state.

Isn't the Communist call to reject both the NDA and the grand alliance a bit confusing?

Where's the confusion? We want to stop the BJP from coming to power at any cost.

But doesn't that indirectly mean supporting Nitish and Lalu?

Not really. They're the most powerful option compared to the NDA, but there are others too, like the Left.

So you mean one shouldn't support either NDA or the grand alliance, but between the two, the grand alliance is better? How so?

Despite all its shortcomings, the hope for social justice is still alive with the grand alliance.

"We want to stop the BJP from coming to power at any cost," says political activist Vineet Kumar

But, BJP is also talking about social justice. Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitan Ram Manjhi are also with the NDA. Doesn't that count for something?

The BJP cannot provide social justice. All its weapons aim to carry forth the agenda of Hindutva. Law and order will be a certain casualty if the NDA attains power.

In the last 10 years, what has been Nitish Kumar's biggest achievement?

Nitish Kumar has changed the mindset of Bihar. Facilities like roads and electricity can be provided in six months, but a change in mentality takes time. Nitish has brought in many social changes. There was peace during his rule.

What has been his biggest failure?

All the accused in the Dalit massacre were freed during his tenure. He dissolved the Amirdas Commission soon after coming to power. He swept the land reform recommendations of the Bandopadhyay Committee under the carpet. He merely paid lip service to the common school system.

What is your take on Lalu Prasad Yadav?

I have not seen Lalu's reign. People say there was jungle-raj under his rule. However, most of his aides are now with the BJP. One cannot deny the fact that Lalu gave voice to the destitute.

Do you think Lalu will have any say in governance if Nitish Kumar becomes the Chief Minister?

I cannot speculate on this. But my guess is that Nitish Kumar is an astute politician. He will manage Lalu well.

Also read: Bihar's Brahmins ask: why is our vote taken for granted?

Dalit PhD student Krishna: 7/10 for Nitish, 3/10 for Modi

An ATM guard who's always with a book, and why he'll vote NOTA

Banka Silk founder Udayan Singh wants a third term for Nitish

Graduate Azra feels Modi isn't inclusive enough to vote for

Whoever comes to power must create jobs: front-office boy Divyanshu

Nitish is a better leader than Modi: Student politician Zeeshan

Nitish has ruined his chance by joining Lalu: Lakshmi, graduate, Muzzafarpur

There's little to choose between Modi and Nitish: wannabe cop Vinit argues for NOTA

Lawyer Indira Sharma: Nitish started well, but has now lost his mind

Farmer Ali Ashraf: 'Dadri is jungle-raj. I don't want that in my state'

Researcher Sunita: don't like BJP but today's Nitish is worse

Social worker Munna Jha: no matter what surveys say, I'll vote for Nitish

Madrasa student Ahmed: Modi's promises fake, I'll vote for Nitish

Entrepreneur Imran: give BJP a chance to prove secular credentials

BCA graduate Manish gives Modi a 10/10. Find out why he's not voting Nitish

Farmer Pawan Yadav is angry with Lalu, but may still vote for him

First published: 16 October 2015, 9:02 IST
N Kumar @CatchNews

Is a freelance journalist based in Patna. He writes prolifically on politics, caste and economic reforms.