At the centre of India’s social churn and high political drama is Bihar, a state with great untapped potential. After bursting on to the scene in the late 1980s and becoming Bihar’s uncrowned ruler, Lalu Prasad Yadav was challenged by his erstwhile comrade Nitish Kumar. Unable to oust Lalu from power with his small, new party, Nitish made an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). A quiet but canny politician, Nitish Kumar, as the chief minister, brought back law and order, roads, education and health to the fore of governance, aspects sorely lacking during Lalu’s long rule. But the entry of Narendra Modi into the national political scene in 2013 rocked the alliance’s boat. Nitish’s switching of alliance between the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the BJP around that time cost him enormously in terms of political goodwill.
Will Nitish be able to restore his esteem by making Bihar a model state for India’s post-Independence journey? In this riveting narrative, seasoned journalist Arun Sinha tells the intertwined stories of Bihar’s political theatre and Nitish’s rule with incisive candour and in-depth research. The Battle for Bihar is a clear-sighted study of the turbulent state that could show India’s politics its way forward.