Nitish Kumar has never faced an anti-incumbency wave because he has always delivered what he promised. Over the years, he has made development and Bihari pride such a narrative in the state elections that it has become a poll plank of just about every party now. Before 2005, only caste-based politics mattered. But Nitish worked relentlessly for the inclusive growth of every section of people. In his current tenure, he promised to provide electricity and piped water to each household, and lived up to it.
Another factor that has worked in Nitish’s favour is women as a vote-bank. Voting on gender lines had never happened before Nitish. Before 2005, women were never considered a separate class of voters as they were expected to vote for the candidate chosen by the men of the household. After 2005, women quietly emerged as a parallel power in Bihar elections. In the three panchayati raj elections held from 2006 onwards, a large number of women won due to 50 per cent reservation provided by the Nitish government. In jobs also, they were given the 35 per cent reservation. Today, Bihar Police have more women than any other state.