The TV talking heads have cooled off a bit on their instant analysis of Elections 2009. Several winners were announced by the TV heads and several losers. I intend to spend some time over the next month to analyze if the TV folks got it right or wrong.
But, one person whom they got it all wrong was Nitish Kumar. Nitish Kumar, and God knows how much i like him, didn't lead the NDA in Bihar because of good governance. He swept Bihar because of the split between Congress(I) and RJD. I analyzed the results of each of the 40 seats and this the summary table:
So, if you see this simple analysis - INC & RJD are losers because the monkey ate the cake while the cats fought over it. Even when you take only 80% of translation of INC votes to the RJD combine, the results is at least 2.5 times better than today. There's a lesson for Congress in this result table. Ignore Laloo if you want to write-off any chance of becoming big in Bihar.
Another trend that i noticed and that isn't obvious here, is the fact that BSP is nearing the 50,000 votes in 9 constituencies. That should worry the Congree, RJD and LJP.
In short, what do i recommend for the Congress in Bihar? I ask them to give Laloo a chance of joining Congress and becoming it's party chief in Bihar as well a cabinet minister in the current government. And why shouldn't that happen? Ideology-wise, there isn't a lot that seperates the Congress and RJD and Congress needs to spend more than a decade to become relevant again in Bihar. The easier route is to leverage the current result and add weight in states where it isn't strong. Also, inviting RJD to merge with Congress will also result in reverse-regionalization of political parties. Post-Congress, NCP and SP are the other candidates that will see a clear writing on the wall and they might want to join the re-join Congress. The public has clearly given it's mandate - national parties over regional parties and Congress has the golden opportunity of using this leverage. My sincere advise to Sonia & team - ask Laloo to join Congress before the feel-good feeling from election success evaporates! You won't regret taking my advise.