In Part I of the “Who will win Bihar?” series I touched upon the basic arithmetic of the Janata alliance and analyzed how it worked when it was tested for the first time in state bye-polls in Bihar held after Lok Sabha polls in 2014. This clearly showed that Janata alliance could go on to win the polls.
In Part II, I would try to answer this question based on a very interesting factor – trend between Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
We have had 16 Lok Sabha elections so far and 15 assembly elections in Bihar. Between 1989 and 1999 – in a ten year period – India witnessed 5 Lok Sabha polls in 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999. Assembly polls were held with the usual five year difference in Bihar except for a mid-term poll in 1969 and in 1980 after Janata govt. fell at the center and in the state.
Winner of various elections in Bihar
Red – Congress, Blue – Others, Green – Janata Dal / Rashtriya Janata Dal, Orange – BJP, Light Grey – Hung, Black – ?
While the party who formed govt. has been considered as winner in assembly polls, party which bagged the maximum number of seats in Lok Sabha polls has been considered as winner in Lok Sabha polls. Of the 31 elections held in Bihar, Congress has won almost half (15) while RJD / JD and NDA 6 each.
Bihar assembly polls and Lok Sabha polls have been held more or less together or max in a gap of 1 year. In 2005 when assembly polls were held within a year of Lok Sabha polls, it threw a hung assembly. Polls were held again in Nov. 2005 and this increased the gap to 1.5 years. Hence in 2015 assembly polls are being held after a gap of 1.5 years from 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
It’s a very common belief that Lok Sabha polls and Assembly polls are fought on different issues. It is true to a certain extent because focus in Lok Sabha polls is more on national issues (economic growth, inflation, job creation, national security, foreign policy etc.) while it is more on local issues in Assembly polls (roads, water supply, sanitation, law and order, corruption etc.).
In this analysis I have considered 13 pair of Lok Sabha & Assembly Polls starting from 1951. To smoothen the trend 1969 mid-term state poll in Bihar, 2005 state poll which was inconclusive and 1991 / 1998 Lok Sabha elections have not been considered.
The results are actually contrary to the local – national issues notion. In the pair of 13 national-state polls, in 10 / 13 (77%) times, the party winning the Lok Sabha polls has won the following state polls. Only in 3 occasions, 1967, 1999 and 2004 opposition won the following state polls.
In 1967 in a wave against Congress nationally, Congress lost Bihar elections to a united opposition and a non-Congress government was established. In 2000 state polls, Lalu’s party won a consecutive 3rd term after BJP led NDA formed govt. in the center in 1999. In 2004 Lok Sabha polls Lalu with Congress won 28/40 seats in a surprise defeat of NDA at the center. In state polls held thereafter in 2005, BJP led NDA ended 15 years of Lalu’s jungle raj.
Winner of Election Results: Upper Half – Lok Sabha Polls, Lower Half – Assembly Polls
Red – Congress, Blue – Others, Green – Janata Dal / Rashtriya Janata Dal, Orange – BJP
One can argue that Congress was the dominant party in years immediately after independence and including early elections skews the above trend analysis. Congress got its first jolt in 1967 when many non-Congress governments were installed in many states across India.
If we include the elections from 1967, that is 10 pair of national-state polls, in 7 / 10 (70%) times, the party winning the Lok Sabha polls has won the following state polls. In 2014 BJP along with Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party and Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party swept the Lok Sabha polls winning 31 / 40 seats. Based on the above trend analysis, there is a very high probability that BJP will win the assembly polls to be held in Q4 of 2015. Only time will tell….