1. Everyone is saying Bihar polls
are again going to be caste-based and the outcome will be caste-driven. But is
the growing middle class going to play a different tune - away from the caste
asthmatics – to assert a new identity that may be amorphous in nature
sociologically but craves for everything that revolves around development that
could better their lives?
2. Nitish Kumar promoted the
concept of ‘Bihari Ashmita’ or Bihari Identity/Bihari Pride like Narendra Modi did
with Gujarati Pride and Identity. But after aligning with Lalu Prasad Yadav, is
Lalu's corruption taint going to make the class, conscious about Bihari Ashmita,
apathetic to Nitish Kumar?
3. Who will emerge out the real
claimant of ‘Bihar Ashmita’ if it happens to be a major factor in the polls –
Nitish Kumar for representing the Bihar government during last 10 years
(barring Jitan Ram Manjhi), the time during which Bihar has certainly been able
to come out of the administrative apathy synonymous with the Lalu-Rabri rule of
15 years – or the BJP which was an equal party with the Janata Dal (United) in governing
Bihar for eight years?
4. Based on poll outcome - if the
counting day falls any time around Chhath, that is on November 17, would it
affect the decision of Biharis to stretch their visit a bit longer? Also,
Diwali is on November 11, and if the last phase, if the Bihar polls are to be a
multi-phased one, falls near Diwali, will the Bihari voters make it a point to
include the last phase in their extended Diwali and Chhath holidays?
5. Regular diaspora case studies
- people living outside Bihar - in different states – even outside India - how
they see these polls, especially after Nitish has parted ways with the BJP and is
going along with his sworn enemy Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is a convicted person
6. Flavour of the poll season – the
familiar musclemen in the poll fray - directly or through their wives (or kin) -
the possible names doing rounds – the names that could be announced to
represent different political outfits – and it will be across the party lines.
7. Important to see how the Yadav
votes behave after Lalu Prasad (Yadav) led RJD vehemently pushed for Anant
Singh's arrest, a muscleman and an influential Bhuimhar MLA.
8. Extending that ‘Yadav voting
trend’ – it is important to be seen how the Bhumihar voters vote? Bhumihars may
be less in number but they are the biggest land owners there. It is important
to see if they see Anant Singh and similar episodes as humiliating enough and
work to defeat Nitish Kumar, an OBC leader.
9. Emergence of Jitan Ram Manjhi
and its impact on Dalit and Mahadalit votes and the pre-poll and thus post-poll
political equations accordingly – Jitan Ram Manjhi’s chief-ministerial
ambitions and the subsequent seat sharing talks with the National Democratic
10. And the usual, most talked
about factors – caste and religion – how would they behave – anti-BJP and NDA
block would try to corner Muslim votes and a secular alliance of
Congress-JD(U)-RJD expects to perform well here. The real fight would for Dalit
and Mahadalit votes after Jitan Ram Manjhi has emerged as an important claimant.
Also, Nitish Kumar cannot solely claim the OBC votebank constituency as
Narendra Modi is also an OBC leader who exploited well this factor in the Lok
Sabha election campaign.