The NDA created another history by heading for a win in Bihar today as votes were counted in the first major election held in the shadow of the Covid-19. If this results in a victory, it will be the first big electoral victory for the BJP-led NDA after the landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh. The performance of the party in various elections has been below par, and in two states— Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh– they had formed governments by allegedly engineering resignations of opposition MLAs.
The victory of NDA and particularly the BJP in the elections was really remarkable and the credit goes to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bihar BJP election in-charge, Devendra Fadnavis.
Though Fadnavis could not spend more time in Bihar during the elections because he was infected with COVID-19, however, he had meticulously designed the campaign strategy and selected suitable candidates for the elections, along with developing an organised booth management concept. Even ahead of the Bihar elections, he chalked out 12 election rallies of Prime Minister Modi in strategic areas in Bihar, like Sasaram, Gaya, Bhagalpur, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Patna, Chhapra, East Champaran, Samastipur, West Champaran, Saharsa and Araria. And Tuesday results had shown that BJP gained in these areas.
The BJP is now stronger in Bihar even without a strong leadership in the state and it was only possible for the initial hard works and poll management of Fadnavis. It was unfortunate that he could not deliver more during the peak period of the campaigning as he was infected with the deadly virus.
The results today in by-polls held across a dozen states also favoured the BJP, which is seen as a measure of PM Modi’s winnability. However, retaining the power in “caste-based” political state, Bihar, was really a herculean task.
The NDA, defying multiple exit polls, sailed past the majority mark and the BJP was even the largest party at one point in a state where it has always been junior partner. However, the opposition alliance led by Tejashwi Yadav put up a strong fight, emerging as the largest party.
Political pundits said that the unexpected surge for the NDA, despite Nitish Kumar facing anti-incumbency after three straight terms, has been attributed by the BJP to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign and Fadnavis’s poll strategy, along with senior leaders, Amit Shah and the party president JP Nadda.
While Tejashwi failed to turn the huge crowds attending his rallies into landslide, however, the 31-year-old has established himself as a key state leader in his own right. He has managed to push Nitish Kumar to third place. But giving the Congress 70 seats to contest may have been his biggest miscalculation.
As the NDA surged ahead, the Grand Alliance, refused to concede. While the Congress said they would wait till the last vote is counted, the RJD has made an appeal to its supporters to stay at counting centres till midnight.