BYE-ELECTION RESULTS: WAKE-UP CALL FOR NARENDRA MODI

The Indian voter is getting increasingly demanding.

If it is not a total collapse, it is certainly a wake-up call.

The results of the bye-elections held in four states, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Punjab, have come as an embarrassing development for the Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

It is an unacceptable 8-18, unacceptable from the point of view of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) strategists who are busy writing off the Congress party and who are still basking in the glory of the overwhelming victory they scored in the Lok Sabha polls in May 2014.

Of the 18 seats, Congress and its allies won 10 while BJP won seven and its Punjab ally SAD one. BJP had performed exceedingly well in many of these assembly segments in the recently concluded General Elections. And BJP had performed exceedingly well in Bihar, bagging 31 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats, with its allies. That was indeed a clear Narendra Modi effect.

Thus, in Bihar, the bypolls were being seen as the referendum on Narendra Modi’s governance and on Nitish Kumar’s governance, his political legacy in Bihar and his political alliance with Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

The BJP may rush to dismiss the results but given the way Modi led the BJP and the NDA in sweeping the nation on the electoral turf with a non-Congress party first time getting so many seats on its own, but any subsequent loss of his party will be seen in the context of his ‘performance on delivery of his promises of bringing the better days’ with questions raised on his governance.

The results declared today have come on a day when Narendra Modi’s government is completing its three months in office with its inaugural on May 26 and these three months have enough of his government’s fumbling blocks to talk about, something that the voter would never have expected to happen when voting for him.

The BJP may rush to dismiss the results as reaction on Modi’s government and may use the line of national Vs local issues, but doing so would be electorally harmful.

The warning signals for the Modi government have started surfacing and the government needs to assess them and work them out because these results also tell the voter is getting increasingly demanding.

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