ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Bihar : Politics from Below

The 2004 Lok Sabha elections in Bihar replayed some earlier electoral patterns characteristic of the state. Thus, the contest was mainly between two social coalitions - the RJD alliance versus the JD(U) alliance - dominated by the more powerful backward castes of the state, while the upper caste parties, Congress and BJP, were reduced to playing the role of marginal allies. Moreover, these elections, like others in the last decade, were also decided largely by the 'Laloo' factor, that is, the degree of support or opposition the RJD leader aroused in his state. However, the anti-Laloo vote could pose little challenge to the formidable alliance of castes (upper caste-yadav-Muslim) that Laloo Prasad was able to shape during the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

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