PATNA: Top politicians in Bihar are shying away from directly facing the voters in the election arena and rather taking the “back door” to reach the House.
Strangely, two of them are none than the present chief minister Nitish Kumar and his immediate predecessor Rabri Devi.
Sounds strange but both the leaders have filed nomination papers for the biennial elections to the state Legislative Council this time again—for the third consecutive times in the past 12 years.
The elections are scheduled for 26 April for 11 seats to the Legislative Council, Upper House of Bihar legislature.
Kumar had got himself nominated to the Legislative Council for the first time in March 2006 after he took oath as the chief minister of Bihar in November 2006.
He was then a Member of the Lok Sabha and was required under the constitutional provisions to be a Member of either House of state legislature within six months of taking the oath.
But since then, Kumar has never dared to contest assembly elections. He skipped the poll arena both in 2010 and 2015 assembly elections and better preferred to be nominated to the Upper House amid criticisms by the political experts.
“It’s OK if the he takes the back route to reach the House during adverse circumstances but making it a habit to avoid the voters is not good for democracy,” commented a political expert.
Kumar has not contested any elections since 2005 although he has been campaigning for his candidates.
According to experts, Kumar has got shaky apparently after 2009 incident when a lesser known candidate Raja Peter had defeated the then Jharkhand chief minister Shibu Soren in a by-election, thus costing his chair ultimately.
Likewise, Rabri Devi who served as the chief minister for eight years too has not contested any elections since her defeat in 2005 assembly polls.
At that time, she had contested elections from two seats, Sonepur in Saran district and Raghopur in Vaishali district but she lost both. Since then she has got herself nominated to the House.
The same is the case with another senior politician and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi who also has not contested any elections since 2005. He too has preferred the rather safe Council route to reach the House.