After the Delhi debacle, the resounding defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar polls has come as a death blow to the saffron party and its leadership.
After the loss to Aam Aadmi Party, BJP chief Amit Shah anchored the party’s campaign in Bihar in a web of caste alliances with PM Narendra Modi as the chief campaigner.
A win for the Mahagatbandhan has hit the BJP leadership hard and opened the floodgates to in-house criticism of BJP president Amit Shah and his handling of organisational and political priorities.
It also makes the task of preparing for the forthcoming polls in states where BJP doesn’t have a strong presence tougher which would not be the case had the party won in Bihar.
Meanwhile, denying that Modi’s popularity was waning, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said, “We try to learn from every election. Give us some time. We will take corrective action.”
MP Chandan Mitra was, however, sharper, in his column. “It seems the low-key grand alliance campaign and projection of Nitish Kumar as chief ministerial candidate did the trick and voters rejected BJP campaign crafted by party chief Amit Shah,” he said.
Arrah MP RK Singh reiterated, “There should be introspection. People chargesheeted for crimes such as dacoity were given tickets. That is not something I expected from my party.”
Briefing the media, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said, “Shah will get a new term later this year as the organisational polls are close to a finish.” But the going may not be easy in terms of the challenges ahead.
While a combative opposition will look to pin down the BJP-led government in Parliament on the raging issue of “growing intolerance” that has seen an unprecedented move by intellectuals, film personalities and scientists to return their awards, the Centre will find it increasingly difficult to pass crucial bills like GST or any other legislative agenda.