Patna: Bihar on Sunday gave a clear verdict in favour of the Nitish-Lalu combine, and according to political observers, this was possible because of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s votebank and Nitish Kumar’s ‘vikas purush’ image.
Analysts are treating the Bihar elections as a micro version of the general elections and have held Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for his party’s defeat here.
This loss, they say, will have far-flung implications in other state elections in the near future.
BJP president Amit Shah’s social strategy and Modi’s charisma didn’t work in Bihar, they said, and reminded BJP to change its poll strategy to avoid a repeat of Delhi and Bihar in other states.
The carpet-bombing campaign, the remarks on beef, Pakistan and the personal attacks on Nitish and Lalu has also contributed to this loss, they said.
A significant reason behind Narendra Modi-led NDA alliance’s flop show in Bihar was its failure to promote development as the agenda during the campaign phase. Also it harped more on how the Prime Minister is also from an extremely backward caste (EBC) and on whether beef should be eaten or not. Most significantly, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comments on the need to review reservation policies did it in.
After Bhagwat’s comments, the NDA alliance immediately went on the backfoot and till the last day of the campaigning in Bihar, it was seen giving explanations and reactions to his statement.
The failure of the Modi-led NDA alliance to promote its various development schemes -- like the Atal Pension Yojana and insurance schemes -- were not even mentioned by the Prime Minister in any of his rallies during the campaign. The main grouse among people was that none of the schemes were reaching the grassroots level.
It is evident the rural masses in Bihar have rejected the BJP just like the middle class did in Delhi.
RJD chief Lalu Yadav had predicted these reasons might well be the BJP’s stumbling blocks in Bihar and elsewhere.
The results have also resurrected Lalu from political wilderness, and he plans to build on it with an anti-BJP and an anti-RSS campaign from Varanasi. He will also focus on West Bengal’s 2016 elections.
Modi had banked on Bihar’s youth. Why did they move away? Analysts say RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s “untimely use of the anti–reservation statement” was the main reason for the youth’s disenchantment.
“This is a big win for the Grand Secular Alliance and BJP was only fighting to sit in the Opposition,” JD(U) state president Basisth Narayan Singh said.
Political observers also see NDA’s loss as a clear mandate in favour of vikas under Nitish Kumar. Results show that the anti–BJP trend which started from Yamuna (Delhi) has finally reached Ganga (Bihar) via Jharkhand.
“Voters have taught a lesson to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making lofty but empty promises in the Lok Sabha. People understood their design this time and felt their jumlabaazi would repeat in Bihar,” JD(U) spokesperson Sanjay Singh said in Patna on Sunday.
Reacting on the BJP’s celebrations after initial trends showed the Grand Alliance was trailing, he said, “They had stored crackers to burst to celebrate L K Advani’s birthday today, so there is nothing to say about that.”
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