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Seeking votes in the name of Nitish Kumar


If one looks at the manner in which the grand alliance went about their seat sharing it can be said that it was an exercise which was more than perfect. When the Congress was given 40 seats to contest in Bihar, many within the party were themselves surprised. The distribution of tickets too came as a surprise to many within the Congress who called the candidates as, "on loan candidates.".

However, the Congress during its campaign realized that this was an election which was centric around many local issues and there was no point in going national. Every Congress candidate made more references to Nitish Kumar and his candidature as the Chief Minister. There was very little reference to Sonia or Rahul Gandhi during the election speeches. Time and again the candidates spoke about the development model of Nitish Kumar for Bihar.

This strategy paid off well for the Congress and analysts say. Moreover the Congress without a local face realized that the best bet was to seek votes in the name of the tried and tested Nitish Kumar. This was a conscious decision by the Congress which paid rich dividends. There was no local leader and without a committed vote bank, the Congress got it right in rooting for Nitish Kumar rather than try and ride on their own leaders.

Congress strategists during the elections maintained that the best bet was Nitish Kumar. They were after all in the midst of parties which had several issues to bank upon. The BJP at first focused on the development model and later beef politics. Nitish Kumar banked on his own popularity in the state while Lalu Prasad Yadav sealed it with the Yadav and Muslim combination.

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