Bihar reposes faith in Nitish Kumar


Nitish led Maha Gathbandhan has swept the Bihar elections bagging more than 2/3rd majority. While MGB bagged 178 seats (RJD 80, JDU 71, Congress 27), NDA bagged only 58 seats (BJP 53, RLSP 2, LJP 2, Others 1). Others bagged 7 seats. Actually game was over till Phase IV itself.

None of the polls predicted such a big win for NDA, though Lalu was confident of bagging 190 seats. AXIS also accurately predicted the polls (176 seats for MGB) but CNN-IBN didn’t have the confidence to air these results.

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Graph Contributed by @Purple_Truth

In terms of vote share, NDA lost 5.3% vote share (34.1% vs 39.4%) from Lok Sabha polls, while MGB lost 3.1% vote share (41.9% vs 45%). While MGB decline in vote share was understandable, as I always said, seamless transfer of votes cannot take place between allies, loss of NDA vote share is intriguing given that Manjhi was expected to add 2%-3% vote share. Others got a vote share of 24% (gain of 9%+ from LS polls).

Politicalbaaba predicted a 65% probability of NDA win with 127 seats, MGB at 111 & Others at 5. This seems to have gone horribly wrong. One other prediction that Congress may get fewer seats than last time also went wrong. However, one consolation was that I had said long back before polling started that Lalu will get more seats than Nitish (which nobody got right), and this has been proved correct. So some silver lining. See tweet link. The journey has been exciting and there were many learnings throughout.

The journey was highly satisfying with more than 50 insightful articles on the Bihar elections with regular feature in Niticentral. By the blessings of all followers, PB also made a debut in DailyO and Swarajyamag with a few single / coauthored articles plus a comeback for Hindustan Times (last I wrote a budget article). The response in web was overwhelming!

So what went wrong for BJP – IOA.

  1. Ignorance – Party more and more becoming like Congress. Power concentrated in few individuals – trimurti as it is called of Modi-Shah-Jaitley. People like Ananth Kumar, Bhupendra Yadav, Dharmendra Pradhan being made in-charge who have no clue of ground level dynamics. This is still manageable if you project local leadership which was not done.
  2. Over Confidence – The party has gained in confidence after absolute majority in Lok Sabha in May 2014. Successive state elections victory seem to have created a sense of over confidence. Belief that nothing will happen and BJP will be able to bulldoze opposition. Belief that TINA factor will help the party everywhere.
  3. Arrogance – Modi/Shah jodi has become arrogant after their Maharashtra victory without Shiv Sena. This made them feel all states are alike and Modi wave will sail BJP through all state elections. While this is true for states where there was huge anti-incumbency against previous government (Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir), this strategy doesn’t work in states where there is no overwhelming anger against incumbent government like Delhi and now Bihar.

PB will come up with many more detailed insights on the elections so tuned. This was just a short piece – an update….

Ultimately a popular face Nitish won hands down against an unkown competitor (pls see related post Leadership Ratings Co-authored Article in Hindustan Times). Good night. Sleep well….

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