Bochahan Assembly’s indirect ballot defeat continues to annoy the BJP, which has become the largest Bihar Assembly party after the recent defection of three MPs from its former ally Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) of Mukesh Sahni.
Earlier this month, the opposition RJD won the Bochahan seat, beating the BJP by a margin of nearly 36,000 votes. In 2020, the seat was won by VIP, who had fought the polls as part of NDA.
The VIP, who were also in the fray, finished third, but appeared to have undermined their former ally BJP.
BJP State Unit Chairman Dr Sanjay Jaiswal said the party had reviewed the poll results and the need for a necessary course correction. “All aspects have been discussed,” he said, declining to share details.
Rajya Sabha member Sushil Kumar Modi, who has long served as deputy chief minister in Nitish Kumar’s government, was more forthcoming, however, saying it was up to the ruling NDA to look into the massive debacle not only in Bochahan, but also in the Legislative Assembly. Council elections for 24 urban local body seats, in which ruling allies the BJP and JD-U ended up losing 10 of their seats, while the RJD was the biggest winner.
“NDA will certainly review the losses to make the necessary corrections well in time. After all, Bochahan witnessed a full-scale BJP campaign, with ministers and lawmakers visiting every panchayat. The state government has also worked for all sections in equal measure to earn their trust. Yet, it was unprecedented to see the extremely backward sections and an upper caste section move away. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the NDA swept the polls, winning 39 of 40 seats. What went wrong and why, the NDA will definitely look into it,” Modi said.
He was apparently referring to the erosion of BJP votes among the Nishad, a backward community of boatmen, and the Bhumihars, a traditional support base of the party.
Known for his close association with CM Kumar, Modi has also hinted at the lack of synergy due to confusion over CM’s presidency as a possible reason for voter disenchantment. “It will also be examined why there was no 2019-like coordination between NDA voters in both the Council elections and the by-vote, as there is still time to make the necessary corrections before the next Lok Sabha and state elections,” he said.
Modi’s comments came a day before BJP leader and union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Bihar.
DM Diwakar, former NA director of the Sinha Institute of Social Studies, said that the poor NDA broadcast was the result of internal disputes within the NDA. “What Modi said boldly is true. He is realistic and he understands Bihar’s triangular politics and the indispensability of Nitish Kumar who does not give any party complete sway over the electorate,” he said. declared.
Diwakar said the results could also give Nitish Kumar a break from the growing assertiveness of the BJP, which had clearly made him uneasy.