rediff.com correspondent Salil Kumar, who toured Bihar on the eve of the assembly election, answers readers' queries.
Don't u feel that there should be an end to Laloo's rule in Bihar and also I feel keeping Bihar in the hands of Sonia will be more worse than that. What is ur opinion?
Answer: Yes, I think there should be an end to Lalu's rule in Bihar, but not for the reason you think.
Like it or not, the Lalu rule has allowed backwards and Dalits to occupy some kind of political space. Before Lalu's rule, these people were forever exploited by the upper castes. At least now they have gained some self-respect.
But political empowerment and economic empowerment are two different things. Lalu has proved to be a spectacular failure when it comes to governance. In fact, he is more concerned about his own survival and the survival of his chosen few to think about development, roads, jobs, electricity, etc.
It is for this reason that Lalu must go.
Lalu has played an important part in Bihar. But to bring economic development to the state, someone more practical, low-key and learned is needed.
When will BJP come in power with their own majority in Centre as well as in states?
Answer: If things go the way they are, the BJP will be reduced to a regional party. It is nowhere in UP, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, J&K and Himachal Pradesh. In the Northeast and the south too it has no presence.
Its much talked about second rung leadership is in tatters.
Ayodhya has ceased to be an issue.
I doubt the BJP will come to power with a majority at the Centre. For that matter, I think those days of any one party coming to power at the Centre are gone.
Think coalitions, at least for the next decade.
Name: vdnarain, Delhi
Will Paswan support Lalu in hung House?
Answer: With Paswan you can never tell. He was thick as thieves with the NDA government. Then he turned "secular" overnight. Now he is with the Congress. Who knows? In a hung House he may support an RJD government saying it is necessary to keep "communal elements" like the BJP at bay.
Or he can join the NDA and say he wants to keep Lalu out.
With politicians you can never tell.
Ravi Teja K, Ahmedabad
What is a fair chance of elections with no rigging and fear in Bihar?
Answer: Maybe in the next century.