Bihar Assembly Elections 2015

Modi made little impact in Bihar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Bihar 30 times, four in the run-up to the announcement of poll dates, and 26 thereafter. These frequent visits made him the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA’s star campaigner, but the magic he demonstrated in 2014 had clearly faded away even though he drew large crowds.

Take just two statistics: of the 26 of the State’s 38 districts where the Prime Minister addressed election meetings after the election schedule was announced, the BJP-led NDA scored a duck in six; of the 26 Assembly segments where he spoke, 10 BJP-held seats were snatched away by the RJD and the Congress, five each.

Only in four districts did the BJP’s star campaigner make an impact: the party won all four seats in Kaimur district, seven of the 14 in Patna district, seven of the 12 in East Champaran district and five of the nine in West Champaran district. And the BJP retained 11 Assembly constituencies that Mr.Modi visited — Muzaffarpur, Gaya, Darbhanga, Katihar, Patna Sahib, Gopalgunj, Forbesganj, Purnea, Motihari, Siwan and Hajipur. In one more, Bhabhua, a seat won by the Lok Janshakti Party in 2010 was contested and won this time by the BJP and thus retained with the NDA.

An examination of where Mr. Modi went shows that the BJP drew a blank in the districts of Munger, Samastipur, Begusarai, Jehanabad, Buxar and Madhepura; it won a seat each in Banka (out of five), Aurangabad (out of six), Vaishali (out of eight), Nalanda (out of seven) Siwan (out of eight), Madhubani (out of 10) and Sasaram, where its ally, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party won one seat out of seven. If the BJP won three of 11 seats in Muzaffarpur district, it won two seats each in the districts of Nawada (out of five), Saran (out of 10), Darbhanga (out of 10), Purnea (out of seven), Forbesganj (out of six), Sitamarhi (out of 8), Gopalganj (out of six) and Katihar (out of seven).

A look at the results in the Assembly constituencies where the Prime Minister addressed poll meetings also shows that he made marginal impact despite the huge crowds that turned up.

The BJP lost Bhagalpur, Buxar, Aurangabad, Bettiah and Begusarai to the Congress, suggesting that the latter was able to attract some upper caste votes as well.

The BJP lost another five seats to the RJD: they are Saharsa, Madhubani, Sasaram, Arrah and Sitamarhi. In return, the BJP succeeded in snatching the RJD-held seat of Banka. The grand alliance held on to Madhepura, Marhaura, Nalanda and Jehanabad, all of which the Prime Minister visited. The BJP was out for a duck in 13 districts — apart from the six districts mentioned earlier, it failed to open its account in Kishanganj, Khagaria, Arwal, Sheohar, Saharsa, Sheikhpura, Jehanabad and Bhagalpur.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 4:14:30 PM |

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