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CENTRE for POLICY ANALYSIS

 

ARTICLE
PRABIR PURKAYASTHA | 9 NOVEMBER, 2015

WHO FAILED? THE BJP OR PM MODI AND AMIT SHAH?

In a bruising elections, carried out over 5 phases and 3 weeks, the people of Bihar have spoken. They have handed a resounding defeat to the BJP and its allies. They have rejected BJP's attempts to polarise the elections on communal lines, trying to bring cow slaughter and beef eating into the elections and dubbing all those who vote against BJP as agents of Pakistan. All this spearheaded by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, the BJP President. At the end, the verdict could not be more damning: the BJP has secured less than one-fourth of the seats, with the Grand Alliance -- Mahagathbandhan -- of Lalu Yadav's RJD and Nitish Kumar led JDU getting more than two-thirds. It was not a close elections as was predicted by various pollsters, but a crushing defeat of Modi and his party.

Cow

Courtesy: Achhe Din Memes

The results of are even more striking if we compare them to the Parliamentary Elections of 2014. From a BJP lead in 173 Assembly segments, they could secure less than 60. It was not just electoral arithmetic; the JDU-RJD-Congress combination polled much more than their 2014 numbers, while the BJP figures dropped by more than 6% from their 2014 figure.

Bihar would not have become such a crucial election for the country, except that BJP made it a virtual referendum on Modi's policies. I do not remember any PM ever in the history of Indian elections, conducting 30 election meetings in a state election. The posters in Bihar were all about Modi, till the third phase. It then dawned on them that Modi versus Nitish projection was only helping the Bihari versus Bahari campaign of the Mahagathbandhan. By then, it was too late to find a suitable local counter to Nitish Kumar.

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