New Delhi, Aug 27 (): BJP’s Narendra Modi government gets its first jolt even before it completes 100 days. The BJP has won only 8 seats out of the 18 assembly constituencies where by-elections took place across four states while Congress and its allies have won 10 seats. However, this does not spell the end of Modi wave but shows that equations in the State are different from national polls. As Shiv Sena an ally of BJP points out, it is not enough to just bask in Modi wave to win elections.
The most anticipated result was the outcome of the battle in Bihar, with the state politics going through a lot of changes in the last year or so. In the LS elections, BJP and ally LJP won 31 out of the 40 seats. Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav staring at political extinction decided to join hands. Along with the Congress, a secular alliance was formed to fight BJP. The alliance has won six out of the 10 seats, while the LJP and BJP won four assembly seats. In the LS election, NDA was leading in eight of the 10 assembly divisions that went to poll. The shift in voting in the assembly voting shows a considerable change in Bihar.
But, the victory of the rainbow coalition of the Kurmis, Yadavs, Dalits, most backward classes and Muslims will only create problems. This victory of 10 seats was used as an experiment by the secular alliance . Now that that the alliance works, there will be a greater demand for seats. Come Assembly elections, the RJD and JDU will be facing a tussle for seat sharing.
Congress, a minority player in the alliance will face the same problem. Bihar victory is nothing significant as in the Lok Sabha polls, the vote-share of JDU, Congress , RJD was nearly 7% more than that of the NDA. Nitish and Lalu campaigned actively for the by-election, whereas most of the national BJP leaders stayed away. Also, all surveys pre-May 16 indicated that a section of voters who voted for BJP would shift to Nitish Kumar in the Assembly polls. Hence, the Bihar results shows is that caste politics is still very much alive and kicking in the state.
In Karnataka, BJP losing the Bellary rural seat to the Congress is not a surprise since in the Lok Sabha elections, BJP’s B Sriramulu got a lead of 7,000 from the seat. In the last assembly election, Sriramulu won the seat on a BSR ticket and the BJP had fared badly. Thus losing the Bellary rural seat is not a big setback. The more disturbing thing will be Yeddyurappa’s son Raghavendra winning by just 4,000 votes in Shikaripura.
In the Assembly 2013 polls, Yeddyurappa won the seat by 50,000 votes and in the previous Lok Sabha polls, he was leading by 70,000 votes in the same seat. The traditional bastion of BJP has lost considerable support. In Madhya Pradesh, the ruling BJP won two of the three seats showing that Shivraj Singh Chauhan has been a fort of the saffron brigade. In Punjab, Akalis won one and the Congress won the other. AAP which won 4 Lok Sabha seats has drawn a blank. The results show that the frenzy generated over Modi has died down.
The upcoming assembly elections in J&K , Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand will be a crucial test of Narendra Modi’s performance. Modi is expected to campaign along with his trusted lieutenant Amit Shah.