By: Keyur Seta
The Bihar Election results have surprised many of us. While Nitish Kumar’s Janata Parivar always had an edge over NDA, very few expected the alliance to win with such a huge margin of 178 to 59. Although the result is only confined to a state, it is a warning to the Central government because the election was fought by its seniormost national leaders.
Nitish’s good work in developing Bihar, which was once labeled as a backward state, has been instrumental in his alliance’s victory. But we can’t ignore the mistakes or, in some cases, blunders from the part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to be a major case for such a defeat.
Here are 8 possible reasons for BJP’s drubbing in Bihar:-
Unfulfilled Promises: One of the biggest promises the BJP offered during the Lok Sabha polls was the bringing back of black money stashed abroad. But they not only failed in doing so, but the party head Amit Shah, during an interview, openly stated that the promise was nothing but a ‘Chunavi Jumla’. In other words, it was just a ploy to attract voters.
Communal Card: The party leadership had said time and again that their agenda is only development. But their leaders, including some MPs, have been continuously giving communal statements since more than a year.
Dadri Demon: This incident turned out to be the biggest turning point. BJP’s Sakshi Maharaj, Sadhvi Prachi and Sangeet Som gave shocking statements in support of the lynching. Yogi Adityanath even assured Dadri villagers of providing guns!
Silence is not Golden: After such horrific statements, anybody would expect India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take strict action against the offenders. However, not only there was no action taken but there was no condemnation or suspension either.
Negative Campaign: One of the major reasons for BJP’s shocking loss in the Delhi Election earlier this year was the negative campaign they ran against their opponents. People expected them to not repeat the mistake in Bihar. However, there were no lessons learnt as their campaign mostly contained mudslinging against JP leaders.
No Local Faces: Like every other state elections, the party relied only on famous faces like Modi and Amit Shah to get them votes. But to win state elections, you got to have known local faces that have a good following. The BJP lagged behind in this department again which forced the PM, party head and a lot of senior leaders and ministers to leave aside their task and head to Bihar.
Beef Politics: The party used Beef as one of the important issues. Its leaders made sweeping statements that the election is between Beef eaters and non-Beef eaters, and those who wish to eat it should go to Pakistan. They also used Cow in their newspaper advertisements. This tactic backfired badly as it turned out to be a polarizing idea.
Pakistan Hangover: Statements asking someone or the other to go to Pakistan have almost became a standard response. What hurt them the most is Shah’s comment that if they lose the election, crackers will burst in Pakistan. But what took the cake was the attack on actor Shah Rukh Khan and comparing him with the most wanted terrorist Hafiz Saeed.