- The recently concluded assembly elections in Bihar was the first real test for the political parties, especially the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) heading the Union Government, coming close on the heels of the pandemic induced hardships that have rendered the entire country teetering on the brink in no small measure. The economic challenges are insurmountable in the face of still struggling activities and the jury is still out on the efficacy of imposing stringent lockdown that left millions of migrant labourers in the lurch.
- And Bihar being the home to a majority of migrant labourers, loss of job opportunities and the accompanying livelihood challenges was always going to pose uncomfortable situations when the ruling dispensation, read as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), along with its ally Janata Dal-United (JD-U) had to seek electorate’s blessings for another term. Add to it the lackluster performance of the incumbent government in Bihar as well as expected anti-incumbency essaying a defining role, the electoral road was always thought to be fraught with abundant difficulties.
Pc: Bloomberg Quint
- Seizing on the apparent dissatisfaction amongst the voters, the opposition led by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) combine of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rightly targeted the government highlighting the loss of job opportunities, livelihood, and underwhelming governance with vigour. All the exit polls were unanimous in pronouncing the obituary of the NDA as also projecting the opposition Mahaghatbhandan (MGB) to emerge victorious by comfortable margins. It appeared writing was on the wall for the NDA which was touted to be the front runner just a month back.
- However, all those poll pundits and experts discounted an extremely important component in the political narrative being played out in the country of late. Yes, the personal charisma and unparalleled association Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoys amongst the electorate across the country and irrespective of usual caste/communal paraphernalia associated with elections. His unmatched energy levels and aggressively effective oratorical skills during the electioneering are unrivaled is stating the obvious. The PM’s deft narrative and convincing oratory when it looked like the election pitch were meandering along indeed dramatically altered the equations.
Pc: The Financial Express
- Touching right chords amongst the largely ignored women voters who were immensely benefitted with phenomenally successful schemes like Ujjwala LPG connections, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Jan Dhan Direct Benefit Transfer, and most importantly, provisioning potable water taps to the households proved to be a game-changeras the PM highlighted achievements in no-holds-barred election rallies. Reminding the voters about the erstwhile jungle raj perpetrated by the tainted opposition party also influenced the voting public about the lawlessness witnessed back then.
Pc: The Quint
- The result coming out from the Hindi heartland of Bihar has not only surprised the poll experts but also put paid to the aspirations of the RJD led MGB forming the government. Major credit should go to the PM for his ability to influence the voters who express innate trust in the man believing him to deliver goods most often than not. The icing on the cake for the BJP is to see many by-elections going its way. The BJP will be extremely content and happy to have received a Deepavali gift with the blessings from people reposing faith in the man at the helm, Narendra Modi himself!