After the National Democratic Alliance swept the assembly polls in Bihar, rediff.com's N Ganesh spoke to Biharis in Mumbai to gauge their reactions to Nitish Kumar's impressive performance.
"The results are very good. Nitish Kumar's government deserves the mandate. Only Nitish can make a difference. In Bihar there are only two classes the poor on the one side and the Bahubalis (strongmen) on the other. Fearing the Bahubalis the educated and qualified had left Bihar. It is not a matter of pride that this state boasted of 60 per cent of its population below the poverty line. People believe that Nitish Kumar can make a difference with development and facilitating the setting up of industries. The election results reveal that voters have overcome caste and creed. The Muslims who have voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party have done so only to get Nitish to power," said M Prasad, chairman of the Maji Sainik Charitable Trust.
"We always knew that Nitish would come back to power. There are roads leading to every corner, drains have been constructed and most importantly, law and order has changed for the better. Recently during my visit to Bihar, I landed there in the night and travelled on a motorcycle, which would be unthinkable in the past," says businessman Ajay Jha.
"I would like to thank the voters for selecting a honest and responsible government in Bihar. I hope that one day Bihar would attract migrants and not send out migrants. Biharis are opportunistic, intelligent and hard working, a discipline in governance was lacking for all these years. The government should focus on education, I-T and industries to facilitate growth," said Commodore (retired) B B Mistry.
"Bihar has given a message to the entire nation. This is a place where people see the doctor's caste before visiting him. Bihar has been lampooned as a backward state. The results show that even a ridiculed state can redeem itself. The people have voted for development. If Bihar can do it then any other state in the country can follow this. Bihar and eastern UP constitute the core of the country with maximum land mass and population. No nation can march forward by having its core in the wilderness of backwardness," said Ravi Shankar Shrivastav of the Bihar Foundation.
"This is excellent result and better than expected. The voters have set good example for rest of the country and rest of the world. The turning point for Bihar came five years ago and it will be tough for Nitish to maintain the momentum," feels Captain Nalin Pandey.
"The 15 years of Lalu's tyrannical regime in Bihar was a nightmare for the state. It took us five years to complete a three-year graduation. The education system had collapsed and so had the law and order. No industry would dare to set foot in the state. The only industry that thrived was that of kidnapping which flourished with the blessings of those in positions of authority. Thankfully the voters of Bihar have put an end to this chapter of regressive politics. Bihar has voted for development, which they deserve." said Mohammad Warsi, an executive in Mumbai.