Explained: Chances of Pushapam Priya Choudhary to become the CM of Bihar
Bihar Assembly elections are just around the corner and suddenly since last few months a new face for the CM candidate, Pushpam Priya Choudhary has started to trend. Pushpam is a London School of Economics alumni who declared herself as the CM candidate in Bihar, challenging Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Prasad. As of now, her party is known as Plural Party and has already released the list of many candidates who will contest the election.
It was a full-page advertisement in different newspapers in Bihar in March that caught the attention of many, where a young woman was staring at the readers with the caption – CM Candidate Bihar 2020. This is how she announced her arrival in Bihar politics.
Another full-page advertisement was devoted to an open letter from Pushpam Priya Choudhary to the readers where she promised to turn the state into Europe by 2030. The young woman whose age is still not available in public domain, said that she has returned to Bihar after her studies in a foreign country and now she wants to change Bihar into “most developed Indian state within five years”.
Who is Pushpam Priya Choudhary?
Pushpam Priya Choudhary is the daughter of former Janta Dal-United MLC (Member of Legislative Council), Vinod Chaudhary. As per her website, she has a Masters degree in Public Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Masters in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom.
Choudhary is very active on social media and made announcements about her party and its plans via her social media handles too. She tweeted about the need for change in Bihar and her party has a roadmap till 2030. She talked about the development of Bihar and appealed people to associate with her Plural party.
प्रथम चरण के प्रत्याशियों के चुनाव-प्रचार के लिए निकलने की तैयारी में। आप सभी के लिए "बिहार का खोंयछा" माँगने आ रही हूँ। प्रथम चरण में हम किसी भी पार्टी से ज़्यादा सीटों पर चुनाव लड़ रहे हैं और हम ही जीतेंगे भी। #LetsOpenBihar #30YearsLockdown #ChooseProgress pic.twitter.com/YzNSJ6xw0f
— Pushpam Priya Choudhary (@pushpampc13) October 12, 2020
How will her party fare in the election?
Looking at the social media trends, ground campaigns and media interviews, it seems that Pushpam Priya is trying to repeat the Delhi model of Arvind Kejriwal in Bihar by attacking both the NDA and the grand alliance. Her campaign and speeches are mostly targeted at the misrule of Bihar in the last 30 years. It is clear that she has tried to establish a third front in the Bihar, where voters have only two options when it comes to choosing their CM.
Youths always seek change and the anti-incumbency of last 15 years against the NDA has surely awakened them to remove the alleged tag of “Bimaru” state.
Bihar has a maximum number of migrant youths that travel to other states or country for a better opportunity. Plurals have so far been successful in attracting some eyeballs among youth but, just youth votes are not going to win the election for them. They need to cut across all ages and genders to have some chance on the 10th November, when the results will be declared.
A very interesting point about Bihar politics is that it has never seen a single-party government post Mandal era. Even if we leave the current scenario of politics that says incompetent opposition of RJD, anti-incumbency against Nitish Kumar, Chirag Paswan’s LJP running out of NDA but supporting BJP almost nil third front, are the major factors that will shape the results, Pushpam Priya Choudhary’s plural party might turn out to be a decent factor in vote shares across many constituencies.
Plural Party is expected to attract new age voters that are considered to be BJP cadres since 2014 elections. Urban voters and women who voted for JDU after the liquor ban in the state can also move towards a party which is being led by a woman. However, rural areas are the biggest challenge for Pushpam as they have yet not established a base on the ground level in the rural areas.
Out casting the caste- Biggest challenge for Pushpam Priya Choudhary
सभी प्रत्याशी घर-घर जाएँ, लोगों से उनका दुःख समझें। दुःख समझेंगे तभी निदान कर पाएँगे। ड्रॉइंग रूम पॉलिटिक्स नहीं करनी है। लोगों को शामिल करना है पॉलिसीमेकिंग में। और, "बिहार का खोंयछा" लेना न भूलें, तभी क़र्ज़ याद रहेगा, चुकाने के लिए, आजन्म! #सबकाशासन #PositivePoliticsBihar2020 pic.twitter.com/gWCtde4nk3
— Pushpam Priya Choudhary (@pushpampc13) October 13, 2020
Out casting the ‘caste’ especially in Bihar is a difficult task for any political party, unlike Delhi where AAP did so. Even in UP, BJP did the same with the common saffron agenda. Pushpam Choudhary needs to break the loyal and traditional caste vote base of political parties to gain any success. Honestly, it seems very difficult. People in Bihar tend to choose a representative which will favour them (specific caste) after the election.
Some believe that if Tejaswi Yadav is judged on the basis Lalu Prasad’s work, even Pushpam Priya Choudhary must be answerable about his father and his party ideology. She can’t just get away with bashing and blaming the NDA’s tenure knowing that her father holds a constitutional post in the current government.
Apart from playing the blame game, sloganeering and campaigning, it looks like Pushpam Priya Choudhary and her party does not have any substantial road map for Bihar. She needs to spend more time on the ground with people for a change as it has to be a public movement in Bihar like it was in Delhi. People in Bihar are still not ready to come out of caste, religion and creed-based barriers while voting for a candidate. She needs to spend a fair share of time with the people of Bihar and then create a base for her which is not dependent on any caste or religious calculations.
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