The Bihar assembly election verdict serves as a wake up poll for the Modi government as it will have to push ahead reforms agenda.
The Grand alliance comprising Janata Dal (U), Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress has emerged victorious in the Bihar assembly polls by defeating the BJP led NDA. The assembly election verdict has turned out to be a major setback for the NDA as Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had campaigned aggressively for the polls. Thus voters have sent a clear message to the BJP that divisive politics won’t work as they have voted for good governance. The Bihar assembly election verdict serves as a wake up poll for the Modi government as it will have to push ahead reforms agenda and stalled developmental plans. Alternatively, the Third Front may get a renewal once again and it would post a much bigger challenge to the BJP in the next Lok Sabha elections. The issue of intolerance dominated the national debate during the five-phase elections in Bihar with a large number of artists, writers and others returning their awards to protest against what they called an ‘atmosphere of rising intolerance’ in the country.
Political analysts said that the reasons for the victory of Grand Alliance of JD-U, RJD and Congress mainly included Nitish Kumar’s popularity, while some of them also said voters are showing a tendency to prefer different parties at Centre and in States.
Leader of opposition in the state assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said, “The verdict of Bihar assembly polls shows that people are unhappy with the functioning of the central government. The BJP has failed to fulfil the promises made by it after coming to power. They have ignored the interests of farmers who are affected due to drought. The government has not provided loan waiver to debt ridden farmers as many of them are committing suicide. BJP has been indulging in politics of hate which led to its downfall in Bihar election.”
MPCC President Ashok Chavan said, “It’s a defeat of PM Modi as he had personally campaigned for the Bihar election. Thus the BJP has lost a major election after Delhi assembly poll. Thus situation has drastically changed now and there is no Modi wave. The Congress had won 4 seats during the last assembly polls and this time it has won 24 seats. This verdict has boosted the morale of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi.”
Targeting the BJP government at the Centre, the Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said, “It is clear message for PM Modi. The country is telling him (PM) you cannot win election by polarising two communities. The BJP, RSS cannot make Hindu-Muslims fight.”
“The arrogance of the Modi government should come down. This has led to BJP’s defeat in Bihar. This will benefit him and the country,” he added.
Rahul took a jibe at PM Modi’s foreign tours and said, “PM should stop foreign tours, instead go and meet farmers, labourers and the youth whom he had promised jobs while campaigning for Lok Sabha polls in 2014.”
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said, “This is the thrashing of Modi and Shah and victory of Nitish and Lalu Yadav, who were successful in convincing the voters…Modiji had raised the expectations of the common man so high, but he failed miserably to live up to it.”
“Since Modi has taken over, he has been only in campaign mode, while people voted him to govern the country. He should now do away with the campaigning mode and start fulfilling his tall promises” he added.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “This is the beginning of the end of Modi’s era and is going to continue in future elections too. Secularism, love and affection triumphed while politics of hatred is done and bit the dust in this election.”
The Shiv Sena held the Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for the BJP combine’s defeat in the Bihar assembly election.
“This is a big win for Nitish Kumar. He has emerged as a political hero,” Sena’s Sanjay Raut said.
“When Congress loses, then it’s (president) Sonia’s (Gandhi) responsibility. Similarly, BJP must accept that Bihar results is Modi’s responsibility,” Raut said. He added, “We congratulate Nitish Kumar. This result will be a turning point in the country’s political future.”
Negative statements from leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the RSS during the Bihar assembly election campaign went against the NDA, Janata Dal-United chief Sharad Yadav said.
“Mohan Bhagwat’s (RSS chief) remark on (doing away with) reservation also went against them. It became a big factor. It’s a win for the Grand Alliance and Nitish Kumar’s developmental work.”
BJP spokesman GVL Narsimha Rao denied the loss was a personal blow for Modi, saying the odds were stacked against their party after regional rivals joined forces.
“This election was loaded against us. It is a defeat of the arithmetic,” Rao said.
“Our PM has delivered even in this election. It is because of his appeal that we managed a creditable performance,” Rao said.