op politicians in Bihar are shying away from directly facing voters in the election arena and rather taking the “back door” to reach the state legislature. Two of them are chief minister Nitish Kumar and his immediate predecessor Rabri Devi.
Both the leaders have filed nomination papers for the biennial elections to the state Legislative Council this time again, for the third consecutive time in past 12 years. The elections are scheduled for 26 April for 11 seats to the Legislative Council.
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 during 2010 and 2015 Assembly elections and preferred to be nominated to the Upper House amid criticism.
“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,” a political expert said. Kumar has not contested any elections since 2005, although he has been campaigning for his candidates.
According to experts, Kumar becane shaky apparently after the 2009 incident when a lesser known candidate Raja Peter had defeated the then Jharkhand chief minister Shibu Soren in a by-election, thus costing him 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 Council.
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 safer Council route to reach the legislature.