BJP under Modi-Shah lost 8 states, 218 by-elections in last two years; Bihar will be most embarrassing

Almost all exit poll surveys have predicted a clean sweep for the Mahagathbandhan and a defeat for the NDA in Bihar polls which it fought by playing up PM Narendra Modi’s personal charisma

BJP under Modi-Shah lost 8 states, 218 by-elections in last two years; Bihar will be  most embarrassing

NH Political Bureau

If exit polls are any indication, BJP-led NDA is set to receive a huge blow in Bihar assembly elections. Almost all exit poll surveys have predicted a clean sweep for the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan and embarrassing defeat for the NDA in an election which it fought largely by playing up PM Narendra Modi’s personal charisma.

While news channels gave RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav credit for steering the Mahagathbandhan towards victory in a deeply polarized election, they refrained from naming Modi for NDA’s debacle.

However, it is worth recalling that it was PM Modi who in a last-ditch effort to win the polls tried to give it a communal and nationalistic spin. If the NDA goes on to lose the polls despite that, no one other than him is to be blamed. Indeed, if the Bihar results prove the exit polls correct, the myth around him being ‘undefeatable’ may be busted forever.

As it is, the BJP under his leadership has lost as many as 218 by-polls since 2019.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram was quite right when he stated that “381 State Assembly segments have had Assembly elections (330) or Assembly by-elections (51) held since 2019 Lok Sabha elections, where there were BJP candidates. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP candidates won 319 out of these 381 assembly segments. In the elections or by-elections in these segments since 2019, BJP candidates won only 163 out of 381 segments.”

Not only by-elections, Modi and his so-called ‘Chanakya’ Amit Shah have also lost major assembly elections held after 2018. Although BJP went on to form the government in some of the states by reversing the people’s mandate by using its machinations, others were saved.

The BJP under Modi lost two major assembly elections – Delhi and Bihar – immediately after 2014, negating the so-called Modi wave. It received a serious blow in 2018 when it lost four big states in the Hindi heartland – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Haryana – besides Punjab. A year later in 2019, it lost Jharkhand too.

Though the Modi-Shah duo later formed the government in MP by engineering defections in MP Congress and striking a deal with Chautalas in Haryana, the BJP’s defeat is well documented and remains an indelible black spot for the party.

Then came the crushing defeat in Karnataka. Despite playing divisive politics, BJP lost one of its most important citadels in south India as the Congress and JDS alliance won the 2018 assembly elections. Though the BJP later went on to topple the democratically-elected Kumaraswamy government, people have not forgotten how it deployed all kinds of trickery in its lust for power.

Odisha and Maharashtra – two important states – present another tale of BJP getting trounced. BJP’s defeat in Odisha is particularly important as the elections were held simultaneously with the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. It was propagated by the Godi media that BJP will unseat Naveen Patnaik but the results poured cold water on BJP’s ambitions.

Similarly, Maharashtra’s case assumes special significance as BJP not only lost the assembly election held last year but an important ally too as its three-decade-old ally Shiv Sena broke away from the NDA and formed the government in alliance with the Congress and NCP.

Though the BJP is still keen to topple the Maharashtra government, it has failed to do so because people have realized its intentions and its tactics have been exposed. And most importantly, the Opposition parties have learnt their lesson – how to defend the mandate and their government.

So the next time any Bhakt or Modi-Shah supporter boasts that the BJP is undefeatable and that Modi is the master of electioneering and Amit Shah the ‘Chanakya’ of modern India – don’t forget to tell them that they have lost 8 state elections and 218 by-elections since 2018.

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Published: 09 Nov 2020, 12:53 PM