Nitish Kumar's JDU: Navigating Bihar's Caste Dynamics Ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha Polls

India 2024
26 January, 2024

The voting patterns for Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) [JDU] can be analyzed by looking at the caste composition of Bihar and the historical support base of the JDU. Here are key points based on the data available:

  1. Caste Composition in Bihar: The 2011 national census indicated that Scheduled Castes constituted 16% of Bihar’s population. The Mahadalit community, a subset of Dalits, includes various sub-castes like Chamars, Paswans, and Musahars. OBCs/EBCs (Other Backward Classes/Extremely Backward Classes) make up about 51% of the population, with significant groups like Yadavs and Kushwahas. Forward castes, including Bhumihars, Brahmins, Rajputs, and Kayasths, constitute around 15% of the population. Muslims form 16.9% of the state’s population.
  2. JDU’s Traditional Support Base: Historically, Nitish Kumar and the JDU have enjoyed substantial support from the EBCs and a portion of the Dalit community, particularly the Mahadalits. His government’s policies, such as reservations in government contracts and inclusion of more castes in the EBC category, have been aimed at consolidating this support.
  3. Electoral Implications: JDU’s traditional support base, combined with the significant EBC and Mahadalit population in Bihar, has been a crucial factor in its electoral success. However, political dynamics in Bihar are complex, and caste-based voting is intertwined with party alliances and the popularity of leaders.
  4. Impact of Alliances: Nitish Kumar’s political alignments, whether with the NDA or the Mahagathbandhan, affect his party’s electoral prospects. His ability to attract votes from his traditional support base can be influenced by these alliances, as they can bring in additional support from other caste groups aligned with alliance partners.
  5. Current Scenario: With talks of Nitish Kumar potentially switching alliances, there could be a reshuffling of caste-based support. His move to the NDA could potentially consolidate support from certain OBC and forward caste groups, in addition to his traditional EBC and Mahadalit base.
  6. Uncertainty and Speculation: The current political situation in Bihar, especially with the potential switch of alliances, adds an element of uncertainty. Voter behavior could change depending on the final political alignment and the campaign strategies adopted by the parties involved.

In conclusion, Nitish Kumar’s JDU has traditionally relied on the support of EBCs and Mahadalits. The party’s success in future elections, particularly the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, would depend on how these caste groups, along with others, respond to the party’s policies and alliances​

24 February, 2024

Byju’s, once heralded as a flagship in India’s edtech sector, is grappling with severe financial and operational challenges, marked by a dramatic valuation drop. The company, which sought to stabilize its operations and finances, is now raising funds at a valuation significantly lower than its peak. This development comes amid efforts to address a substantial debt burden, with Byju’s proposing a repayment plan for its $1.2 billion loan. Investor confidence appears shaken, with some stakeholders pushing for drastic changes in leadership to navigate the crisis effectively. The turmoil reflects broader sectoral pressures and raises questions about the sustainability of high-growth trajectories in the edtech industry

10 February, 2024

Australia’s energy market is witnessing significant transitions and investments aimed at bolstering renewable energy infrastructure and securing gas supplies. Key developments include a $179 million investment by the Queensland Government for community battery projects, Santos’ $5.7 billion gas pipeline project following a legal battle win, and a $206 million energy savings package for NSW households. Additionally, the Australian government has secured new gas supply deals to support the east coast market, emphasizing the role of gas in transitioning to a renewable grid.

India 2024
9 February, 2024

The latest opinion polls, including the Mood of the Nation survey by India Today, predict a comfortable victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP and its allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), with a projected win of 335 Lok Sabha seats in the 2024 general elections. This forecast suggests a slight decrease from the 2019 elections but still ensures a majority. The survey, involving interviews with over 149,000 respondents, reflects Modi’s enduring popularity based on his nationalist policies and economic reforms. Other polls echo these findings, although seat projections vary slightly. The opposition INDIA alliance is expected to secure a significant number of seats, yet not enough to challenge the NDA’s majority. These predictions highlight a political landscape that remains largely favorable to Modi and the BJP as the election approaches