There are heartbreaking stories in politics and then there are stories that cripple your faith in humanity and leave you in tears on your bed, unable to summon the will to lift yourself up and go on about your life normally. The story of Pushpam Priya Choudhary and the Plurals party, unfortunately, falls in the latter category.
By any measure, Pushpam Priya Choudhary is a highly accomplished woman. According to her website, she completed her masters in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. Subsequently, she pursued Master of Public Administration at The London School of Economics & Political Science.
At LSE, she studied Political Science, Political Philosophy, Public Administration, Economics, Philosophy for Public Policy, Social Policy and Political Communication. She returned to India in 2019 with the sole objective of building a better Bihar. Alas! To be so educated and duped by ordinary men and women of Bihar.
Pushpam Priya Choudhary co-founded the Plurals party with Anupam Suman, a former civil servant who also happens to be a graduate from the LSE and the University of Wales in the United Kingdom. The agenda for the party is the “complete transformation of Bihar”. The party says, “Plurals will strive against the contrived economic, social and political conditions to build a Bihar where every life is unquestionably equally valuable.”
Its website states, “Our mission is to revive the moribund economy of Bihar; to create a new Bihar that produces, innovates and invests to become the most well governed and developed state in the country by 2025 and one of the best liveable places in the world by 2030. Plurals will do so through evidence based policy making that stems from positive and programmatic politics.”
The agenda for the Plurals party includes “Everyone Governs”, “Putting the last first”, “Decentralisation”, “Anti-paternalism” and “Integration of multiple-realities”. By anti-paternalism, the party means that “Government is not the parent of people and thus it has no right to set paternalistic draconian rules.” By ‘integration’, it means, “We all have different realities and therefore different problems. These realities should be integrated by effective policy-making. Bihar is a state of immense potential but ‘one size fit all’ cannot work in Bihar as it is very diverse.”
All of this sounds very fancy, however, what was not fancy was how Pushpam Priya Choudhary reacted to the Bihar election results. Instead of accepting the results in good spirit, she resorted to accusations of EVM tampering. According to her, the BJP stole the votes that were casted for her in the polls.
“EVM HACKED IN BIHAR!” She railed in one tweet of hers.
Pushpam Priya Choudhary was remarkably specific in her allegations of EVM tampering. She claimed that BJP rigged the elections and transferred all the votes casted in her favour to the NDA in all booths.
However, since we know for a fact that EVMs cannot be tampered with and there have been enough occasions in the past when even opposition party leaders have confirmed their integrity apart from Supreme Court upholding the same, we had to believe that there must be a better explanation somewhere for her misguided confidence.
Fortunately for us, Pushpam Priya Choudhary was kind enough to provide evidence for the same herself. It appears that she was hoodwinked by the karyakartas of her own party who knew better than to trust her political competence. She claimed that even in booths where karyakartas of her party voted in front of her, her tally was zero.
Under such circumstances, where the infallibility of EVMs are assured, it is almost guaranteed that Pushpam Priya Choudhary was fooled by her own karyakartas. Of course, it is a bitter pill to swallow for any politician, to be betrayed by one’s own party men, but most times, acceptance of core realities is the best path forward.
The Bihar elections 2020 did not work out too well for Pushpam Priya Choudhary but one hopes that she has learnt valuable lessons over the course of the election campaign that would help her in the future. One does hope that she will contest elections in the years to come as well since having a meltdown on social media is no way to end one’s political career, and her participation would continue to put a smile on the faces of citizens across the political spectrum.
The results of the Bihar elections 2020 have not been settled yet. While the NDA appeared to have pulled ahead earlier in the day, the Mahagathbandhan had caught up with them as of the time of writing this report. They are going neck and neck and the NDA has fallen below the majority mark.