Honeymoon period for BJP is over


Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to suffer its first defeat eighteen months after coming to power nationally.

The BJP and its allies look set to lose control of the state of Bihar which has been voting over the past month and a half. In early results the BJP’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has taken or is in the lead in 64 of the 243 seats in the Bihar Legislative Assembly.

Meanwhile the main opposition Indian National Congress led alliance which includes the Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)), a former ally of the BJP, and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has won or is in the lead in 171 seats.

In 2010 the Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)), which was then part of the BJP’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 115 seats, currently they are ahead in 70 seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 91 seats and currently they are projected to win 56 seats

The Rashtriya Janata Dal, a left wing state party and now allied with the Indian National Congress, won 22 seats in 2010 but is projected to win around 77 seats this time. The Indian National Congress won nine seats in 2010 but is leading in 24 seats this year.

If the election commission’s projections are correct then this will be the first major setback for Prime Minister Modi and his BJP party.

The BJP will, however, point to their improved vote figures; in 2010 they took 16.46% of the vote whereas the projection for this election is 24.9% of the vote. In 2010 the Indian National Congress took 8.38% of the vote and this time they are on about 6.7%.

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