Quick thoughts about BJP’s peformance in Bihar elections

Updated on November 11, 2015 in Political Discussions
21 on November 8, 2015

It will be interesting to anlayze the vote share and areas in which BJP did good, but without going to that data analysis (because in Indian journalism, mahaul is more important than data), my initial thoughts would be these (in that order):

1. Nitish Kumar was, to an extent, able to execute the ‘Bihari vs Bahari’ agenda. This was straight out of Narendra Modi’s book who could earlier successfully turn attacks onto him as attack on Gujarat. Perhaps Nitish Kumar is much like Narendra Modi, and likes repel each other!

2. Due the above, lack of a local CM candidate or a local leader promoted aggressively hurt BJP. I don’t know what are the personal ambitions of likes of Hukumdev Narayan Yadav, but he would have been just perfect as star campaigner.

3. RSS chief’s statement on Reservations hurt BJP’s prospects. Lalu was able to make it a big issue just as BJP could make beef a big issue in the last phase. Both benefited (some TV reports suggest BJP doing good in the last phase) from their respective spins on statements. BJP needed the RSS chief’s statement to be spun as EBC+Mahadalits vs OBCs, but it couldn’t do it, because it was also targeting OBCs (but wonder why no local OBC leader in that case).

4. BJP’s inability, or incompetence, to learn from Delhi results. It comforted itself by believing into conspiracy theories that it lost the poll on purpose (I too maintain that Delhi was a good election to lose, but it was not lost on purpose, it was lost because BJP was outwitted on every count). If they don’t learn from this defeat, 2019 is gone. I had written about Delhi elections here http://www.rahulroushan.com/2015/02/bjp-helps-kejriwal-become-the-cm-of-delhi-pm-next/

5. Caste continues to reign supreme in Bihar, rather in the Hindu society. While a BJP supporter online might be paranoid about “libtards” and Islamists and would be desperate to go beyond caste, the average Hindu, especially in areas like Bihar, can’t understand what the fuss is about (I had referred to this under “ideology” section in my write up on Delhi). BJP tries to change that through polarization and mostly it works, but it can work only in certain areas like the last phase. The ideological agenda has to go beyond the silly polarization.

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0 on November 8, 2015

In my opinion, not declaring a priori the CM candiate hurted them most. They should have projected Rudy or Prasad/Manjhi a CM candidate.

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1 on November 8, 2015

Rahul is one of the best commentator on ‘right’ issues, but am afraid he missed the woods for the trees here….
..
The biggest reason of BJP loss is entire opposition uniting. There isn’t two ways about it.
The moment it was sealed, BJP knew it’s chances are grim. The desparation showed from thereafter.
Delhi was lost because of same reason.
No party in world, can win in a multi party polity, where entire gets united.
I am not saying it’s impossible, but just that to make it possible, one needs ’84 kind of wave.

on November 8, 2015

Absolutely spot on, Vinay!

The real issue is BJP’s continuing image as a “forward caste” party in those parts of the country. Now if in UP the opposition unites, they will meet the same fate.

Even Koenraad Elst had pointed this out in his blog that BJP usually gets about 25-30% of the votes on its own. But if the opposition unites, it needs to to muster another 10% votes just to stay in the game. Its startegy should to be worry about how to get those additional 10% votes.

Back to Bihar- initially NDA chances looked good because the JDU-RJD vote banks were not instantly transferable. But obviously they were able to work it out and in the end, came out with perfect unison.

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0 on November 8, 2015

u summarised it all , just 1 thing i cant understand was if Lalu wins more seats then Nitish then what does it tells you, plus congress gains lot, (by their own standards these days) , dis was no vote for development surely as Lalu won more seats thn Nitish, neither against BJP ,party won LS easy here, Just 1 thing comes to my mind is ppl see local govt and centre govt differently now, same voters who voted them today might not vote for them in LS polls again, U look at delhi, watever u might say but if electons r here tomorrow i bet delhi will vote BJP again, its not usual but its a fact i can bet on….
thanks

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0 on November 8, 2015

Also V K Singh was impressive in his guest role. But sickulars and burnolists would like to make people believe that Bihari people were angry because of beef ban and murders of ‘intellectuals’ in other states.

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0 on November 8, 2015

I agree with most of the facts but I have to say. SACK Jaitley lest lose 2019

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1 on November 8, 2015

Hi All,

Perfect points forwarded by Rahul and rishu5171, however i would like to put some points regarding the same.

1. BJP lacked complete root based cadres, just introducing childish sms or missed call based services to become a member (launched nationwide by the party) and then declaring that we are the largest political party in the world, is simply not going to work. Party needs to go door by door for months to popularise itself. Dravidian parties DMK and AIADMK have a strong cadre based party structure(that’s why they keep on winning).
Even connecting with the people through social media is still small for a state like Bihar where a large proportion is living in rural areas and not well connected to facebook and twitter leave alone whatsapp.
Any party is built from primary root workers and from them leaders are made. This aspect was missing a lot in Bihar where a national president and PM are doing rallies by rallies but state leaders like Sushil Modi, Hukmdev Narayan Yadav, Nand Kishore Yadav were not at the forefront and leading the charge. Looks like considerable selection of candidates from Delhi which was a big blunder.
BJP leaders needs to understand that 2014 wave is well gone much before and they cannot hype on it anymore and project Modi as their state leader.

2. The campaigning should have been totally development based and not through beef, religion or other routes. Nitish is known for development just like Modi, it was BJP leaders who were instigating MG leaders by many irrelevant topics and making personal attacks first making Lalu, Nitish as victims (same as in case of Arvind Kejriwal during Delhi election). The BJP leadership seriously needs to clamp down on bad-mouthed leaders which bring party on the back foot again and again, thus polarising votes.

3. The people are getting very impatient and disappointed, wants results to be delivered instantly. Do not promise moon to the common man, update them on daily and weekly on progress of reforms and point out weaknesses of opposition parties by door to door campaign, leave alone social media. Crack down on the corruption as hard as it can and need not worry about useless hullabaloo, give priority to the common man hardships (which they still haven’t addressed) especially the employee middle class which forms their core vote bank.

4. BJP needs it’s own effective media management also, just relying on present MSM won’t help at all (it seems the party is doing nothing in this direction since 18 months). Had it not the recent incidents highlighted by the electronic media, then the party would not have lost so badly and dented its image. Also party spokespersons are not effective and reply aggressively in MSM twisted forums where they get thrashed instead. Parties like the DMK, CPM, TMC have their own large media cells. 

Thank you…..

on November 8, 2015

Well said. Dont promise them the moon and then say at least you delivered a mountain.

For Bihar- one hope is that the MGB will fall down thanks to its own contradictions in a couple of years. Another aspect is that the BJP needs a lot of work to shed its upper caste image in UP & Bihar. Unless the OBCs and the SC-STs feel a  part of the Hindutva fold, that project will not succeed. 

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0 on November 8, 2015

My take:

1.First understand 2014 verdict. It was more against Congress rather than in favor of development.

2. Remember, BJP went from 2 to 190 due to Rathyatra and lost 2004 due to India Shining i.e. on development agenda

3. It would be impossible to win against united opposition when voters vote on caste and religion lines.

4.Though it sounds regressive, for BJP to win,, bring back ultra Hindutva agenda. It is Hindu versus others. 80% versus 20%

5.Opposition too can play development card, but they will never play Hindutva card because of Muslim votes

6. BJP need Swany, Yogi and Shakshi to win 2019.

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0 on November 8, 2015

My take is little different –
1. Muslims will never never ever side with Narendra Modi and rarely with BJP as voters.
2. All utterances of leaders of RSS/BJP have not much impact today on people. Such highlights are only for media TRP and money.
Above two will go hand in hand now.

3. Voters place issues and aspirations according to the local/state/centre nature of elections.
4. Not much to show from local faces of BJP.
5. The game was two party contest(BJP+ vs JDU+) as other fronts were of no show.

6. MuslimYadav strongly polarized stats of Lalu and humble B/D Castes stats for Nitish together reinforced each other, standing on Lalu’s MY strength mainly.

But above all –
7. Work of Narendra Modi (despite working hard) is still being awaited to bring changes in economy/opportunities on ground to show among masses.
This creates evenly distributed negative swing of development seeking voters who can for time being put aside their other personal aspirations.

NDA got around 34% which can be mostly accounted from above few.

Narendra Modi needs to hurry up and show results through machineries of governance, as any position change in parliament(LS/RS) will not help anymore till 2019.

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0 on November 8, 2015

Here are my thoughts: 
1) BJP seems to get to have got too  complacent about their 2014 victory. A lot of BJP’iites are talking out of their rear end for no good reason. Can surely be avoided. 
In defense — all that the BJP leaders say is “we do not support his/her opinion”. Nothing else. 
Best example is —- Mohan Bhagwat’s caste / quota remark, V K Singh’s “dog” remark. 

2) The “intolerant” issue got too much attention. Not everyone knows the true story — but then, that is the truth. The poor do not know — so you need to let them know the truth and not shut up. Unfortunately that is what he BJP did for most parts. The PM and the leadership chose to shut up. 

3) Modi handling way too much than he can digest. He should have let a local steer this campaign. 

4) Nitish did well by a) hiring Modi’s communication manager from the general election days and going door-to-door of sorts to build a personal relationship of sorts rather than indulge in big rallies with crowd pulling. 

My 2 paisa on a disappointing day 🙁 

Now getting ready for the blood bath on Dalal Street tomorrow. Hope the market does not tank much. 🙁

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1 on November 8, 2015

What are we all doing? Why do we all need to even analyze and introspect on these comments section? I am not sure if this is the same level of intellectual discussion happening in BJP karyakarta sessions or if its finger pointing…

Why should you, I, Rahul Roushan, Bhak Sala, Bwoy Blunder, Revolutionary Monk and all these other people spend the valuable part of their lives tweeting, finding the mistakes and lies that media make everyday, be the first line of defense of BJP when they themselves don’t care? 

I’m sick and tired of seeing Sambit Patra, Siddarth Nath Singh and Trivedi on Newshour, NDTV, CNN-IBN often when the channels clearly have a problem with BJP. Especially, when these spokespersons can’t defend what they are supposed to do? When all of the people i mentioned above are worse than the people here on twitter? 

This hasn’t changed in the last year. That’s what is more surprising..

on November 11, 2015

You have a point. But it’s not like we have got a lot of options. The “secular” voters are spoilt for choice. They can even be happy if someone like Lalu is voted in as long as BJP is kept out. What do we have?

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