Written by Apeksha Deep, Pragya Sharma, Tanya Sahil
Strategies are guidelines and plans that are made in order to achieve a long term goal. It is the core base for every individual, organisation, state and countries overall growth and development. The opportunities that a meticulously built strategy can offer are unimaginable and politics is no exception to it. Politics requires more preciseness and unique methods to get the voters vote.
Bihar 2015 elections witnessed a new wave of plots made by Nitish-Lalu duo to win the elections. Nitish Kumar-led the ‘MAHAGATHBANDHAN’ which lead to the winning against PM Modi-led BJP alliance in the Bihar elections 2015.
All the methods that was used by Nitish Kumar led JDU (Janta Dal United) were conceptualised and christened by none other than Prashant Kishor, a native of Bihar and the man behind the creation of the brand Modi that led to the BJP win in the 2014 elections.
There are mainly 3 main strategies that JDU incorporated during the lections. Firstly, to get Prashant Kishor as the media advisor of Nitish Kumar, secondly the formation of Mahagathbandhan, Thirdly the idea to ask votes on caste basis.
- Prashant Kishor- Media advisor and his planning
A native of Bihar and the man behind the creation of brand Modi was roped in for the battle. It is said that the Mahagathbandhan had won half of the battle and when they got Prashant as the strategist then the rest is history. Around 50-60 people are part of the Indian
People’s Action Committee. It includes media professionals, lawyers, accountants, digital media officers etc. The strategies that were created were a follow up and re-structured version of the methods used during BJP’s Lok Sabha campaign tuned to suit to the needs of the party. Around 10 people were part of the core team which directly reported to Kishor, while the remaining members formed the ground coordination group. Each district was assigned to a team of two-three members to work alongside 250 local employees, or CRM (Central Resource Mobilisers). They built a sample list of voters through a door-to-door, a panchayat level, then block level, and finally a district level list of prospective voters. This list served two goals. Firstly, they were included in WhatsApp groups for direct communication for campaign awareness. The second purpose was to make
direct calls. A 500 member call-centre team made calls to the prospective voters to get the feedback. Another initiative that worked well was the cycle campaign. Thousands of cycles with posters of Nitish’s messages and poll agenda was acquired and local volunteers
cycled through villages and towns. It even ensured access to areas that could not be reached through any other mode of transportation. The cycle campaign managed to cover over 15,000 houses in each constituency. Apart from using the feedbacks to strategize the points that were included in Nitish’s campaign speeches, they also maintained a two hour turn-around time to counter the BJP’s attacks on Nitish. He even made sure that Nitish and Lalu never shared the same stage. Both were made to cover 15 rallies each. This was done to keep Nitish’s image away from that of Lalu of been part of certain convictions.
- Formation of Mahagathbandhan
With The MAHAGATHBANDHAN, BJP said that these are momentary gains which won’t benefit in long run. But MAHAGATHBANDHAN actually led to the win with Nitish kumar’s progressive image and of course Lalu Yadav’s raw power. When you get such an interesting combination in the country itself then the chances of winning the elections were obvious.
Nitish kumar had been a successful Chief Minister wherein he was specifically praised by the media for bringing the crime-graph down and handling such a disturb state like Bihar was indeed a challenge and he handling it so effectively and efficiently; literally came out with flying colors of success.
- Caste-based votes
Bihar has been an old spectator to the age old caste based politics. Nitish oscillated from the development agenda that won him to power twice in succession since 2005 to caste based politics mainly to counter attack Modi’s strategy of governance and development in Bihar. Nothing new was strategized but the old forgotten idea was brought up again but now the strength was doubled. It was used as a trump card to play with the Caste based politics dominated by Lalu’s Muslim and Yadav card and his own Kurmi