Narendra Modi didn’t campaign (or intensively campaigned) in the bye-elections held after BJP’s high voltage performance in the Lok Sabha election 2014 that made it the first party to get majority on its own after 1985.

And BJP languished in these bye-elections – first in Uttarakhand, then in four states including Bihar, and then in 9 states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal.

The negative talking points against BJP’s performance simply outnumbered the few positives that it gained in these bye-elections with the later two important bypolls seen and analysed as ‘acid test’ or ‘semi final’ or ‘test of the Modi Wave’ before the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir and Jharkhand.

And BJP failed in these ‘semi-final’ sort of tests. Bypoll verdicts gave voices to everyone. Congress, JDU, Samajwadi Party, RJD, Shiv Sena, and other parties and the leaders of these outfits. They took on BJP with their customized reasons.

But the undercurrent was – assembly polls were different than parliamentary elections and BJP needed its allies. And the favourite talking point of the opponents was – Modi Wave was receding or had gone away, especially after poor show in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar bypolls.

But did Narendra Modi and the Modi Wave fail?

No. The Maharashtra and Haryana poll verdicts say so.

Modi campaigned extensively in these assembly polls, inviting sarcastic remarks from his opponents and allies that he should have stayed focused on delivering in Delhi. But Modi, in his workaholic work style, stayed focused on delivering his speeches reaching out to the electorate. And he promised what was his central plank during the Lok Sabha poll campaigning.

And BJP has registered historic victories in Harayana and Maharashtra assembly polls today.

It is to be seen in the context that BJP had no major political figure in these two states and the party had contested without projecting any chief-ministerial candidates. The central theme of campaigning was Narendra Modi. The party asked for votes in Narendra Modi’s name. And Narendra Modi was there, to establish direct contact. He exploited well the supporting but vital factors like anti-incumbency, government corruption and poor governance.

The analysis into the voting trends shows it has been like the Lok Sabha elections, beyond the boundaries of caste and regional considerations – voting in the name of the politics of development.

Electorate in the Lok Sabha elections bought what Modi promised and voters in these two assembly polls have once again expressed their faith in Modi and like the Lok Sabha elections, even in Maharashtra and Haryana, the ground earned by BJP was much beyond the BJP’s claim in these two states based on the party’s political history.

The verdicts today re-establish the Modi Wave discourse as the central theme of political analyses on upcoming elections, Jammu & Kashmir and Jharkhand.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Factors at play: Huge anti-incumbency + Ruling Party/Alliance Corruption + Modi Wave/Modi Factor + Promises of Developmental Politics.

Narendra Modi didn’t campaign in bypolls: BJP languished. Modi campaigned extensively in assembly polls, inviting sarcastic remarks from his opponents and allies that he should have stayed focused on delivering in Delhi: BJP registers historic victories in Harayana and Maharashtra. It re-establishes the Modi Wave discourse as the central theme of political analyses on upcoming elections, Jammu & Kashmir and Jharkhand.

Maharashtra verdict: It was also about realignment of political affiliations and alliances in Maharashtra with new realities and changed circumstances and BJP has emerged as the clear winner. Parties contesting on their own to realize their political grounds – it had become politically imperative after decades of fighting together in alliances. It was to happen, sooner or later. But no Pankaja Munde or anyone like her, with being the daughter or son of a top politician as the only qualification, as the claimant of chief minister’s chair please. In absence of an acceptable face to all, BJP may decide on Nitin Gadkari.

Out of NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena, the biggest setback goes to Shiv Sena. It is the biggest loser in spite of registering growth, in seats and in vote share. Many in the party would be rightly thinking now, that just for 5 seats, they lost the ‘senior ally’ in Maharashtra tag, and that too, by a huge margin. Yes, they are the second largest party in Maharashtra assembly but their 63 seats are nowhere near to BJP’s 122 seats, given the fact that BJP had been acting as the junior partner of Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and was ready to do so even this time, agreeing to contest on lesser number of seats than Shiv Sena in the failed seat-sharing talks.

The one ‘glorious’ highlight of the Maharashtra verdict – MNS and politics of hatred has been rejected. No glory for Raj Thackeray and his brand of politics. In fact, the whole Bal Thackeray clan deserves it if the family members don’t change their ways. Bravo Maharahstra voters. Jai ho Marathi Manoos.

Also, the Hooda government wipe-out in Haryana was long overdue. Its arrogance and corruption was reeking nepotism and anti-democratic practices. There was an absolute family rule with the clan coming first in exploiting the state’s resources. It was even cordially extended to a member of yet another ‘first family’ in Delhi. But, will the BJP led government reinstate the pride and position of honest officials like Ashok Khemka? Remain sceptical and take it with a spoon of salt given the controversy surrounding AIIMS whistleblower Sanjiv Chaturvedi’s removal.

The country would see more of BJP’s ‘walk alone’ strategy in upcoming polls after its unprecedented performance in Maharashtra and Haryana. In Haryana, from 2009 to 2014, the party scaled up its show from 4 to 47 seats winning the majority while contesting alone. In Maharashtra, though there were some small parties in alliance, it was largely about BJP. Contesting under the shadow of Shiv Sena for decades, the party stumped all emerging as the largest party. In fact, it is after 1990 that any party has win over 100 seats in Maharashtra and that party is BJP. It would certainly bolster Narendra Modi and Amit Shah who prefer to contest alone or on their own terms and talk emphatically of clear majority in electoral politics.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –