Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

BJP loses in Bihar

Exit polls had predicted different results for Bihar elections. Chanakya had predicted clear victory for BJP. Other exit polls had either predicted victory for Grand Alliance or BJP-led NDA or said the contest was very close. Most agreed that BJP will be the single largest party. When the counting began on 5/11/2015 initially BJP was leading and BJP members celebrated with bursting of firecrackers. Soon the trend reversed and it was gloom for BJP.
Final result is RJD 80, JD (U) 71, Congress 27 in Grand Alliance, and BJP 53, LJP 2, RSLP 2, HAM 1 in NDA. CPI-ML won 3 seats. Others won 4 seats. BSP, SP, NCP and MIM did not win any seat.
There are many reasons for BJP’s defeat. Most important was wrong candidate selection. Right candidates, some of them sitting MLAs, did not get tickets. That angered many BJP volunteers and they did not work for the party.
Beef controversy damaged BJP. In 2014 Modi had talked against pink revolution and opposed export of beef. Various statements about cow and beef turned many people against BJP. After becoming PM, Modi had talked of 1200 years of slavery.
Not keeping the promises made during Lok Sabha elections hurt BJP. Expectations were high. They were not met. BJP looked like Congress. MNREGA continued. Businessmen were disappointed. Youth did not get jobs.
Price of toor dal went above 200 rupees per kg. Prices of some other essential commodities went up.
There was talk of intolerance. Many authors, film persons, scientist and historians returned their awards. Some of the statements made by BJP leaders or members of Sangh Pariwar alienated many people.
Prashant Kishor was strategist for Modi in 2014. This time he was strategist for Nitish. That helped Nitish.
It is difficult to say how much Mohan Bhagwat’s talk on rethink on reservations damaged BJP. BJP leaders had said there is no rethink. After the loss Hukumdev Yadav and Jitan Ram Manjhi blamed Mohan Bhagwat.
The combination of RJD, JD (U) and Congress resulted in consolidation of their votes and they benefitted and BJP and allies lost. It began during by-elections after Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
Only achievement Modi government can talk of is India’s rank in ease of doing business went up from 142 to 130.
Modi government has disappointed its supporters and some have turned critics. Arun Shourie’s criticism was brushed off as disgruntlement of someone who did not become minister. Home Ministry has a case against Subramanian Swamy under IPC 153A for his book Terrorism in India. BJP has done its best to lose friends and offend people.
Modi’s dream of Congress-Free India is shattered. In Bihar Congress tally went up from 4 to 27.
How long Grand Alliance will function smoothly remains to be seen. RJD has more seats than JD(U) and it is just a matter of time before CM aspirants in RJD including Tejaswi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav will put forth their claims. There will be many claimants for ministerial posts. Congress will be disappointed if it does not get any portfolio.
BJP says its vote share is intact. Its loss is due to arithmetic of JD (U), RJD and Congress coming together. After Delhi loss also BJP claimed its vote share is intact. In Bihar BJP did not do as badly as in Delhi.
Voting should have been held on a single day in Bihar instead in 5 phases with long gaps in between. Prolonged election campaign resulted in vicious comments. Election Commission should stop making elections a never ending story.

Updated: November 10, 2015 — 8:20 am

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